United for Success Academy Students Build Foundations for Success at Oakland's Museum of Children's Art (MOCHA)

When asked whether he had any interest in the continued exploration of a career in architecture after Monday’s WOW! showcase, sixth grade United for Success Academy student and ArchiTower “Most Valuable Person” , Calijah (pictured above), gave his interviewer a brilliant smile that affirmed the question entirely.  This week, Oakland students invited their community to convene at the Museum of Children’s Art  (MOCHA) in Downtown Oakland to view the many projects that they had visualized, outlined, planned, drafted, and contrived over the course of their ten-week architecture apprenticeships.


The event environment was an inspirational combination of immense student pride complemented by the attending adults’ conviction in the incredible ingenuity of these youth.  Campus Team Leaders Mira Stern and Mica Warton supported 3 Citizen Teachers in the instruction of students in the field of architectural design in each of two apprenticeships: ArchiTower and UFS Cribs. Students were given creative license to either produce unique edifices of their own design or to manipulate extant structures.  Confident 6th grader, Francisco (pictured below), offered a detailed explanation of his reinterpretation of the Eiffel Tower, which featured a glass connector bridge, two rooftop gardens, and a completely inverted building design.  Event attendees also had the ability to view project blueprints and drafts accompanied by the final drafts of student work, allowing for appreciation of the architectural process.  Another sixth grader, Alberto, designed a building complete with a regulation-size boxing ring on top of it!  The WOW! culminated in a heartfelt exchange of tokens of appreciation from both students and Citizen Teachers, and also, participants posing for a final picture together; a lasting memory of the teamwork, endurance, and dedication employed by all to ensure a WOW! community response.