During the week of July 23, high school students hailing from across Northern California attended the CREATE Summer Academy, a six-day program for students showing interest in careers in construction, engineering and architecture. Students stayed on campus at Sacramento State University, met with construction industry leaders, toured active job sites- and achieved their ultimate goal of designing and building a project for a local nonprofit organization. The Summer Academy is a part of the umbrella program, CREATE Mentoring from SRBX (Sacramento Region Builders Exchange). The mentoring program’s intent is to inspire students interested in industries that create our built environments.

At the Summer Academy, the students’ schedules were jam packed daily, from their arrival on Sunday up until the camp’s closing ceremonies the following Friday. After daily visits to outside job sites and field trips to local design and construction offices, students were asked to design and complete a real life project. Students undertook the project of designing benches for the nonprofit, Green Technical Education and Employment (Green Tech), and used the entire week to work on their designs.

The Oak Park organization (greentech.org) whose mission is “Giving youth an eco-advantage,” welcomed the group of students on site both Wednesday and Thursday for construction. Students worked hard in the Summer heat both days to assemble the benches they designed. The results paid off, and with new benches in place, students finished the program with tangible insights into the many career paths that support the built environment.

Joyce Fuss, Associate Engineering with Lionakis, volunteered as an Academy mentor, supporting the efforts of the Mentoring Program and lending students a hand in their design process. This was not Joyce’s first round of volunteering with the program, and stated it best:

“I have been involved with mentoring local high school students through the SRBX education Foundation for almost 10 years now—I started out as a mentor and served at three school sites over a period of 7 years, and have been on the board for the last 2 years.  One of my students is now an intern at Lionakis and it is very rewarding to see the impact of our efforts.  I am honored to be a part of this momentum to contribute to the future of our industry and address the need for talented young professionals in careers that build a better future for our community!”

The week-long camp was a huge success, making Lionakis proud to sponsor the Summer Academy and its efforts to provide meaningful benefits to both our future and present communities. Lionakis is also proud to be part of the vast sponsor group that made the event possible, and would like to extend their thanks to the volunteers, mentors and students. Special thanks to SRBX for hosting this amazing event, and to Joyce’s co-mentor, James Willsie of HGA.
To read more on the CREATE Mentoring Program and the Summer Academy, visit their website at http://www.srbx.org/create-mentoring-program—For more photos and information on the event, visit their Facebook HERE