Architectural Mentoring Program

Volunteer as professional mentor assisting underprivileged inner-city 6th grade students better understand their urban environment through architecture and design. This partnership has been ongoing for several years. Initiated through a shared vision by AIA/LA and Para Los Ninos (PLN) to prepare disadvantaged students for the 21st Century by working professionals collaborating with educators. We expose students to a variety of creative problem solving opportunities, to make connections between their class-work and future professional options and to build confidence presenting their solutions to peers and professional mentors. Our program encourages the students to look beyond their daily school life adjacent to skid row. We challenge the students to spend time at the local public Parks, Libraries, Museums, Concert Halls and urban squares to widen their experience on how architecture and design can change and improve their lives. 

The interchange is rewarding for both the mentors and the students. After a few class sessions, students began to make connections to lessons learned in other classes such as math, science and history. Students gained an enhanced vocabulary learning new architectural terminology. The students look forward to our classes building relationships where they are comfortable to ask questions, share ideas and experiment creatively.

This year our Architectural Mentoring Program (AMP) at Para Los Ninos non-profit charter middle school will be on Thursdays over a 12-week period. We meet once a week from 10:55am to 12:15pm. We have a set curriculum including a weekly presentation and a group design lab. During the design lab the students work in groups led by a mentor. We find it best when the same mentor commits for a full semester to the same group of students. Please contact the program coordinator Ellen Lanet to volunteer and for more details. You may contact her at:

The 2014-2015 school year AMP is broken into 2 semesters:      

- The Fall semester is a 4-week session, which began October 30th through November 20th.

- The Spring semester will be an 8-week session beginning January 15th through March 5th.

Since we’ve begun our Fall semester you are welcome to visit a class and participate with a group of students and mentor. We will need several new mentors to commit for the 8-week Spring semester. We are always looking for new mentors.

Additionally we are in need of financial donations to purchase supplies. Join us in creating valuable educational experiences for disadvantaged students.

Last updated: 04-Nov-2014 01:08 PM
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