Students Dream, Discover Housing Design

BIA Southern California camp provides creative challenge

Youth from Jamboree's communities participated in the BIA Jr Builders Camp

As the second largest nonprofit developer of affordable housing in California, Jamboree is always working to educate the next generation about housing, through volunteer opportunities and internships. But we recently encouraged kids as young as age nine to consider what makes a home, sponsoring three students from our Birch Hills and Mendocino properties at the first Building Industry Association (BIA) of Southern California’s Junior Builder Camp, thanks to a generous donor.

Freedom to dream

To select three children for the sponsorships, Jamboree asked kids in our after-school program to design their dream house by drawing, building, or creating it with technology. The entries were given to Jamboree's Quality Development and Construction team, who evaluated the submissions and then selected their top three. Each one of the winners used a different approach for their submission: Julian, age 13, used computer software, Nicolas, age 13, built his out of a cardboard box, and Maritza, age nine, drew a detailed drawing. Check out her pitch to the Jamboree judges

These three students – thanks to generous sponsorship – then went on to attend the BIASC’s Junior Builder Camp, where their teams took top honors:

  • Julian’s team won Best Presentation,
  • Nicolas’ team won Most Creative House, and
  • Maritza’s team won first place as Best House Overall.

During the awards ceremony, Jamboree Community Impact Manager Jimena Galvan observed, “It was cool to hear the kids talk about their designs using phrases like "open concept" and "modern look" to describe their houses.” See more photos of these future builders.

Opportunity to discover

Offered as part of the BIA’s Junior Builder Initiative, the camp featured home site and construction tours, homebuilding using the Roblox game Welcome to Bloxburg, along with other activities designed to build self confidence, leadership skills, and learn how technology is used in home building. Students were split into groups and tasked as a team to build a house in one hour. They defined different rooms and costs for the design, which included things like an indoor pool, campsite area, soccer area, and fitness area. Each team spent between $91,000 to $138,000 robucks on their houses. One team spent $91,000 and sold their house for $200,000!

Lisa Meadows of the Building Industry Association of Southern California summed up the value of experiences this way: “At this camp, you didn't just build houses – you also built friendships, confidence, and self-esteem.”

Be part of helping resident students dream and discover a better future

  • Donate: Your tax-deductible donation can provide sponsorships and other positive opportunities for students, families, seniors, and veterans to build a better life.
  • Volunteer: Share your valuable skills and knowledge. Serve with students at a Jamboree property near you in one of our ongoing programs or at a special event. Find out more.
  • Partner: Your collaboration makes a difference. Help provide more ways that residents can discover new opportunities. Contact Natalie Reider, our Senior Director of Community Impact, for details.
  • Have stories like this delivered right to your in-box. Sign up for Jamboree’s monthly newsletter.
Children holding certificates after participating in BIA Jr Builder Camp
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