Envision Tomorrow’s Success

Envision Tomorrow’s Success


Selina Haefke and Frank Escalante, ‘Envision Tomorrow’ landscape architecture students.

Earlier this year we posted about the pilot program, ‘Envision Tomorrow: An Education and Professional Development Experience for High School Students.’ The Envision Tomorrow program is the brainchild of Isidro Farias, a project manager at UC Berkeley, a local architect, and the program’s coordinator. The program launched in February to introduce high school students from underrepresented communities in Martinez, CA, to careers in the built environment, including landscape architecture, planning, engineering, architecture, project management, construction management, and marketing & finance.

Program Coordinator, Isidro Farias, a project manager at UC Berkeley and local architect, launched Envision Tomorrow in February, 2013.

The bi-weekly, after school program concluded with an intensive two week summer program at UC Berkeley. The high school sophomores and juniors worked individually and in teams, guided by professionals and grad students from the College of Environmental Design and the Haas School of Business. The students got a taste of each career path and eventually focused on a single field of their choice. Students Selina Haefke and Frank Escalante from Alhambra High School in Martinez, CA, chose to focus on landscape architecture.

Selina Haefke, from Alhambra High School, Martinez, CA, presenting as part of the Envision Tomorrow program

Frank Escalante, from Alhambra High School, Martinez, CA, presenting as part of the Envision Tomorrow program

They used the new Maximino Martinez Commons Dorm as their project site, adjacent to People’s Park in Berkeley. Final presentations were given in July, both in Martinez (due to the BART strike) and again at UC- Berkeley. The presentations were impressively cohesive and comprehensive, looking at the site through the 8 lenses of each discipline. The young landscape architecture students gave organized and thorough presentations that included site design, programming, social factors, construction, feasibility and long-term site maintenance. Graphics and boards were executed at an impressively high level for these emerging designers and show a lot of talent and promise.


ASLA-NCC understands the importance of  role models and providing support systems to students and young professionals. Earlier this summer, during ASLA’s recent Diversity Summit in Alexandria, VA, the lack of role models was a discussion point that came up regularly. Underserved students generally do not have built-in networks or paths to exposure to environmental design professions. This year ASLA-NCC put its money where its mouth is, so to speak, as a proud supporter of this innovative pilot project as well as with the recent launch of the ASLA-NCC mentorship program. Mentoring at all levels is seen as a critical component to the successful inclusion of diverse members in the profession.

The ultimate goal of Envision Tomorrow is to grow the program and have it be sustainable over the long term and be integrated as a continually funded program under the UC Berkeley umbrella of outreach programs, providing role models to socioeconomically disadvantaged youth and increasing the numbers entering design professions.

LeNorman Strong, Associate Vice Chancellor, Student Affairs at UC- Berkeley addressing students and guests at the final presentation for the 2013 Envision Tomorrow pilot program.


Read more on Envision Tomorrow:

Community Focus – Envision Tomorrow

Envision Tomorrow on Razoo

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