Themed “DPR School of Construction,” the kids participated in a four-hour interactive learning experience that was developed locally by DPR employee and community service leader Timothy Hyde, and executed by over 25 DPR employees who volunteered their time.
DPR staff welcomed the kids and kicked off the afternoon with a brief talk from DPR Design Professional Jose Garcia. Jose had humble beginnings and told the kids how he started working at DPR as a field worker on construction jobs. He shared with the kids that he was dedicated and worked very hard and was able to work his way up to design professional. Jose’s story was a great inspiration to the ICAN and FFK kids, who face obstacles in their life as well.
The kids were then divided into four groups to start their projects. One station focused on safety and the kids learned about hard hats, equipment and even about staying hydrated. The highlight was getting to see someone operate a scissor lift. The second station was design of their project, which was a dog house. The kids gave input on design elements and learned how to draw the rendering. The third station was the mock-up of the house, where the kids used pre-cut wood to assemble their mock-up. The final station was building the final product with real power tools and hardware.
Each group’s work resulted in a final, completed dog house that was hand-crafted by the kids. The dog houses will be donated to Friends for Life Animal Rescue where they will be put to good use for rescue dogs.
At the beginning of the day, DPR staff asked the kids what they thought a construction company does. The kids replied with a huge variety of answers, most of which had little to do with construction. DPR staff asked the kids the same question at the end of the day and the transformation was remarkable. Hector was the first to reply with, “It’s really important to be safe!” DPR staff was thrilled with his response and others quickly joined in with words like “hard hat,” “mock-up,” “drawing,” “power tool,” and “teamwork.”
Another highlight of the day was the fact several DPR female employees, including National Safety Manager Janet Howe, were present, hard hat and all. The girls were enamored by the presence of the women working the industry, and all asked to be a part of the group led by female intern Ayern Cobb.
The program was such a success that DPR‘s Phoenix office will be replicating the program for use in all DPR regions across the nation.
About DPR Foundation:
ICAN and Future for Kids are two of 15 youth organizations nationally awarded a total of $900,000 in grants by the DPR Foundation in December 2013. Over the past six years, the Foundation has awarded more than $3.2 million to 22 different organizations focused on providing community support to grade school and high school-aged children.
One of the founding objectives of DPR Construction was to become an integral part of the communities in which we work and to become indispensable in furthering various community needs. At each office that objective is being carried out in numerous ways. In 2008, however, DPR decided to add to our regional efforts, forming the DPR Foundation as a company-wide, focused outreach to help children who fall short of their potential due to socio-economic challenges. dprfoundation.org