Shundreka R. Givan, AICP, a senior transportation planning specialist with the Federal Highway Administration, recently partnered with the YMCA Teen Achievers program to reach high school students from Orange and Seminole Counties in Central Florida.
The aim was to raise awareness and understanding on the value of the planning profession and its impact on local communities.
Givan is passionate about the planning profession and feels that it is important to give back to the community. She saw this as an opportunity to inspire the next generation of planners.
Her personal commitment to the program was to expand the career options for youth, while exposing them to non-traditional career fields and teaching them the important role of transportation planners who work to improve the quality of life for the people we serve.
Activity #1 — Holden Heights Community Center
In Givan's first APA Ambassador outreach activity, students viewed a two-minute video on the “Future in Planning” followed by a 10-minute overview of what it means to be a transportation planner.
The high point of the evening was the interactive activity “Blocks and Lots,” which provided further insight on the planning profession. This activity drew praise from students and parents, some of whom commented that they wish they had majored in urban planning!
Students playing Blocks and Lots at the Holden Heights Community Center. Photo by Shundreka Givan.
Activity #2 — Seminole County High School
With over 22 students present, speakers at Seminole County High School focused on non-traditional career fields. Shundreka discussed the planning profession, including career opportunities and examples of major projects that FHWA is working on in Central Florida.
Students exploring planning careers at Seminole County High School. Photo by Shundreka Givan.
To learn more about the APA Ambassadors program visit www.planning.org/ambassadors/ and follow #APAAmbassadors.
Top image: Shundreka Given with the students of Seminole County High School. Photo by Shundreka Givan.
About the Author
Samantha Schipani is APA's Great Places in America communications intern.