Gaines Group Architects
be who you need

Be who you needed when you were younger!

Be who you needed when you were younger!


Be who you needed when you were younger! What a powerful way to change the future! In a time of uncertainty, bitterness, and hatred, we all need to spread love. Giving your time can be an effective way to give joy to others and it can also give you joy.

I recently attended a final capstone presentation by two JMU students that I mentored. They stood before a classroom filled with other students and professors clearly nervous. The research they were doing was focused on offering solutions for affordable housing in Harrisonburg. I know from our conversations they had the knowledge they needed to offer a complete solution – they just needed to articulate it to the group. Their vision to create a better future for those in need is through the use of tiny houses.  Their presentation offered an “ideal” house design that included energy-efficiency, health, and durable solutions. What a powerful and rewarding project for our community and to be part of as a mentor. I gave them a little of my time and knowledge and they are going to change the world! Now that is a solid return on investment.

Be who you needed when you were younger!

I remember vividly my architecture teacher in high school, Sandy Workman, giving me this same gift. She shared her time and knowledge with me which set me on a path to help others through design. I often have high school students in my office through job shadow  placements. I am continuing to pay it forward. Nate, for one, has spent the year with me learning how to design a house. He also gets to see how an architectural office functions. He is closing in on the end of his time in the office now. I look forward to seeing how he changes the world.

Serving as a mentor for the next generation is an easy gift to give to others. Setting an example will pay back for a lifetime.

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