Community Revitalization Connects Students to Mentors
When Mariecia Moore joined the Youth Builders Program through Project Petals in New York City, she already knew she wanted to be an architect. Encouraged by her high school architecture teacher, Mariecia discovered mentors who helped her realize the vast opportunities in her chosen career.
“I wanted to do architecture before the program, but Youth Builders really stimulated my interest. I learned there are multiple different jobs I could consider,” Mariecia, a freshman at New York City College of Technology, says.
Alicia White, Project Petals president and founder, explains the youth program shows students what their future career path could look like.
“We want to show them that if they don’t have a set idea of what they want to do, that’s OK. The Youth Builders Program connects young people to architecture, engineering and urban planning professionals throughout New York City,” she says. “We get professionals in a room to talk to young people about what they do and the paths they took to get there.”
Project Petals revitalizes and develops communities in need in New York City by bringing awareness to environmental and place-making issues that stunt development. The organization provides people with access to resources to help them prosper and advocates for progressive changes by creating sustainability and service within communities.
“I liked that they brought many different speakers, all of which were in different fields. Each had different jobs in the field, and it made me realize how many opportunities you can have. I learned more through those people and what their day-to-day activities were,” Mariecia says.
Kids from all over the city attend the programs. Project Petals is working with schools to have more success with young people.
“Kids from under-resourced communities are connected with these mentors through the workshops. They’re able to connect and receive guidance and recommendations from them,” Alicia says. “We had so many young people who would come out and volunteer. We had designers come to design a project and people were really interested, so I thought it would be a great idea to connect them with those who were doing the plans.”
Mariecia first got involved in 2017.
“Project Petals was warm and inviting,” Mariecia says. “They always wanted to hear your interests and how you were doing meeting those goals. They would ask you to talk to the speakers who shared your interests and opened you up to different opportunities.”
“Mariecia is very involved in her community,” says Alicia. “She likes to keep her neighborhood clean and safe. She definitely wants to build better futures for other people coming along.”