Center for Architecture Foundation Volunteers Share Their Stories


Center for Architecture Foundation volunteer Ted Mineau (left). Parents and children at a Family Day program.

Maggie Yolen

The Center for Architecture Foundation (CFAF) invites individuals to assist with architecture and design education programs, administration of scholarships and grants programs, and the annual exhibition. Glenda Reed, operations manager at the CFAF, talked to volunteers Lisa Davis and Ted Mineau about their experiences:

Glenda Reed: Why were you interested in volunteering with the CFAF and what did you do as a volunteer?
Lisa Davis: I wanted the opportunity to be in touch with the architectural community and share my knowledge with others. As a volunteer, I helped teach students in elementary through high school how to use various architectural tools, such as scale rulers. I also helped students with their projects, from designing their own Brooklyn Bridge to planning a lot in a city block.

GR: What was your time like with the Learning By Design:NY in-school residency program?
LD: Volunteering taught me a lot about the ability of young people to learn architecture and to care about its relevance in their individual communities. You could say my volunteering with the LBD in-school residency program was an exchange of encouragement. Some of the students needed one-on-one attention to both understand concepts of the assigned project and also to believe in themselves enough to accomplish the assignments. But each student that I worked with also gave back to me a confidence in my own architectural ability.

GR: Ted, can you tell me why you were initially interested in volunteering with the CFAF? How was volunteering at our Family Day programs?
Ted Mineau: I like architecture and I wanted to volunteer for an organization whose work I respect. Now I’ve participated in three events and the Family Day programs follow a great formula: introduction, education (slideshow, gallery tour, etc.), and then hands-on planning and construction. Just like real life! I especially like seeing the kids learning about architecture and then working on a family project to make something special. It’s great to watch parents and children spend quality time together.

If you are interested in volunteering with the CFAF, contact the Foundation at (212) 358-6133 or with your interest and availability. Each volunteer is asked to submit a résumé and meet with a CFAF staff person to best match his/her interests and experience with the programs.