VLK Architects

Mentoring Mustangs at M.H. Moore Elementary School Career Day

A few weeks ago, I was approached by my younger sister about speaking at Fort Worth ISD’s M.H. Moore Elementary School’s Career Day. She is a 2nd grade teacher there, which is located in a low income, predominantly Hispanic neighborhood. Understanding the need there inspired me to help them however I could, so I agreed to participate. I was able to speak to Pre-K through 2nd grade students in both English and Spanish. I brought my daughter who is an architecture student, so they could hear from both an architecture student and a professional architect.

The morning began with a small breakfast in the library followed by the morning announcements. It had been years since I had said the Pledge of Allegiance and the Texas Pledge. I loved hearing the students over the loud speaker recite these with so much energy and pride. A few minutes, later we were escorted to the gym for each professional to share about their chosen careers.

As the students started shuffling in, I could feel their excitement. They sat down in rows, “criss-cross applesauce,” and looked curiously up at me, wondering what this lady in work boots, jeans, and a blazer was going to say. They saw my hardhat and my safety vest on the table next to my set of construction documents. They noticed my name and the company name on the screen behind me, and I’m sure they wondered who the young lady sitting next to me, my daughter, was.  As I started to talk, little hands went up instantly when I asked them if they knew what an architect was. I was blown away by their desire to participate and their great answers to all of my questions. I answered the following questions: What is an architect? What do they do? How do you become an architect? I also explained other things they can do if they study architecture. We spoke about college and how they can explore architecture right now as they build with blocks and Legos.

In total, we spoke to approximately 200 students that morning.  Afterwards, we were approached by several teachers thanking us for being there and letting us know that they greatly appreciated our effort in taking the time to explain not only what we do, but how to get there. The children left that day knowing they can achieve their goals with hard work and a clear path. I am hopeful that now Moore Elementary has at least 100 future architects!

It was a joy to take this time to share my career with students who don’t always recognize that anything is possible since they not only struggle with coursework, but are also struggling with learning English as their second language. I always make it a point to take advantage of opportunities like these that allow me to speak to young people about what they can accomplish because I was fortunate enough to receive that encouragement myself, as was my daughter. It would be a shame for young students to miss opportunities because they haven’t had anyone to guide them or simply tell them they can!

I would like to thank VLK for allowing and encouraging their team members to participate in events such as these that are invaluable for our communities and also thank Moore Elementary School for allowing me to share my passion with their students.