It’s not common that a 13-year-old makes a declaration about his future career. In
the case of Kevin Gonzalez, that’s exactly what happened.
As a 9th grader at Gompers Preparatory Academy, Kevin was walking home after school and upon
entering the gates of El Rey Trailer Plaza where he lives, he wondered, “Why do I
live in such a poor community, trailer homes torn apart, cracks in the streets? Why
can’t everyone have a nice place to live? That was the moment I realized my mission
is to design affordable homes for everyone.”
The next day, Kevin approached his teacher/mentor at Gompers Preparatory Academy,
Sean Bentz, and asked if there was somewhere he could enroll in architecture courses
while in high school. Sean contacted Ian Kay, then Chairperson of the Architecture
and Environmental Design Department at Mesa College. Ian arranged for Kevin to enroll
in one course, Materials of Construction in the Summer of 2020. After entering 10th
grade, Kevin took two more courses in the Fall of 2020, Revit and Introduction to
Architecture. In the Spring of 2021, he took two courses; AutoCAD and Construction
Sean Bentz was also helping Kevin apply to a well-known college preparatory high school
on the east coast, Deerfield Academy. Kevin was recently accepted with a full three-year
scholarship and will start classes in September 2021. Deerfield Academy, in addition
to regular high school coursework, offers an Architecture Program within the curriculum.
Another of Kevin's goals, before leaving in September, was to spend time in an architect's
office. Ian Kay contacted local architect, Mel McGee, who previously taught as an
adjunct at Mesa College and is currently on the Architecture Program Advisory Committee.
Over the years, Mel has hired many of Mesa’s architecture students to work in his
firm. Kevin is now an intern in Mel’s office two days a week until he leaves for
Helping a young person realize their dreams is the goal of every great teacher. Sometimes,
it takes a village.
Learn about Mesa College’s Architecture program.
Learn about Dual Enrollment and High School Resources.
Tags: Mel McGee, Kevin Gonzalez, Architecture, Deerfield Academy, Faculty