Two weeks into my new job at Gould Evans, we received the 2016 Advocate of the Year award from the HALO Foundation. Pretty cool, right? Before I even got the job, I could see the passion everyone here has when it comes to working with kids, and with a foundation like HALO that works tirelessly to improve lives through art and creativity.
I wanted to know more about the partnership, so I sat down with Adam Sterns, a principal in our Kansas City office. Here’s what he had to say about the HALO Foundation:
1. Can you give me a brief description of what the HALO Foundation does?
Globally the HALO Foundation supports orphanages and programs around the world. In addition to contributing resources, it also provides programs that use art as a way to liberate orphans. Locally, here in Kansas City, the HALO center focuses on at-risk and homeless youth. It creates programs around art and creativity to help these kids become contributing members of their communities.
2. What was it about the HALO Foundation that made Gould Evans choose it as a service project?
We were first exposed to the HALO Foundation by an associate who was volunteering at its art workshops, which were being held at reStart, Inc., a long-time client of ours. As we began to see how impactful it was for kids to have creative adult role models, we realized the natural connection with our values and what we do as an architectural firm.
3. What qualities and missions do Gould Evans and the HALO Foundation share?
The HALO Learning Center in Kansas City is always trying to place youth in an environment in which they can be comfortable expressing themselves. A main focus of our practice is educational environments and spaces that allow people to reach their potential, so this became something we and HALO had in common.
4. Why is it important to give the HALO Foundation kids an opportunity to be exposed to design and creativity?
Allowing kids to experiment with design and creative ways of thinking is typically a liberating experience, because there is no right or wrong answer. Many of the at-risk kids that HALO helps are told by society that what they are doing is wrong, and that their choices could be better. Design and creative thinking allows the kids to think in ways that open their minds.
5. What’s the best part about working with the HALO Foundation?
Knowing that we are helping HALO positively impact at-risk youth is the best part of this work. When kids tell you how much they enjoyed spending time thinking about design problems and coming up with creative solutions, it’s a very powerful thing.
On behalf of everyone at Gould Evans, we are so honored to receive this award. Thank you HALO Foundation! Check out the
To learn more about our work with the HALO Foundation, click here.