In the mid to late 90’s Primera worked on the Francisco Madero Middle School in Chicago’s Little Village neighborhood by performing full design services for this three-story, 70,000 sq ft. facility. After completing work on the school, Primera wanted to find a way to give back to the community. Working with school officials, Primera helped develop an ongoing mentoring program that provides students with an insider’s view of the engineering industry and profession. For almost 20 years, Primera has maintained this partnership and has helped mentor hundreds of students.
On Friday, March 27, Primera hosted a group of almost 20 eighth grade students at our downtown office. The students heard from various engineers, including Primera’s CEO and President, Mike DeSantiago, about developing a future in the engineering profession. “The intent of this program has always been to introduce, engage and motivate students to pursue careers in the AEC industry. It allows us to connect with students, which is really a great opportunity for all involved,” said DeSantiago.
In addition to hearing from a variety of industry professionals, the students also performed a wind power experiment by building their own wind turbines and learning about clean energy and the relationship between energy and natural, renewable forces. “You could see the excitement on the students’ faces as they continually made adjustments to the blades on the turbine realizing the changes in the power output,” said Program Coordinator and Primera Electrical Designer Louis DeAlba. By receiving this hands-on education, students are better able to understand the inner workings of the business and receive real-world experience. Primera will continue to host a different group of eighth grade students from Madero Middle school each quarter, reaching close to 100 students annually.