Schmidt Associates is proud to offer its Student Mentors program for high school students to get a professional glimpse of everyday life in the field before graduating. While the firm’s leadership always enjoys educating young people and helping shape their futures, the real excitement comes from success stories like Myrisha Powell.
As a Project Lead The Way (PLTW) participant from middle school through her senior year at Arsenal Tech High School, Myrisha got hands-on drafting, architectural, and 3D modeling experience that captivated her attention and helped her further hone in on her future.
“My path to architecture continued to be laid out even further when my high school teacher, Mr. Powell, submitted my resume for a student intern position with Schmidt Associates the summer after my junior year in 2011,” Myrisha recalls. “Then two past female employees took me under their wings and showed me what to expect. It was the time and relationships created at Schmidt Associates that made me realize I wanted to pursue architectural design as a career.”
As a participant in the Student Mentors program, Myrisha filed paperwork, visited job sites, and learned different software programs that would help her at Ball State University where she earned both her undergraduate and graduate degrees in architecture and planning in 2016 and 2018.
“Meeting and working with different people helped me understand that doing architecture and planning full time for Schmidt Associates was where I wanted to be,” she said. “I have always worked as part of the K-12 Studio, and I love collaborating with school administrators to imagine and design spaces that turn out tomorrow’s leaders.”
Going from intern, then to architectural graduate today, Myrisha has been an integral part of the Schmidt Associates design team for the new Hammond Central High School where she provided valuable input for the school’s PLTW classroom, having drawn from her experience as a student who lived in that world. Other projects in Myrisha’s portfolio include the Lawrence Central High School renovation and new addition, Norwell Middle School addition and renovation, and LaPorte Athletic Fields improvements. In addition to building her career with Schmidt Associates, Myrisha gives back by participating in the ACE Mentor Program where she volunteers and works to encourage young people to follow in her footsteps.
“I’m passionate about our youth and being a strong example to them,” Myrisha said. “There’s nothing more rewarding than to be a role model and helping guide them to follow their own paths, whatever they may be.”