"When I design something, I always wonder how it can be built." -Theo
Theo can't remember a time when he wasn't helping in his dad's shop. He grew up tinkering with bicycles, old cars, and built a kayak when he was fourteen.
Now that Theo's studying architecture in college, he longs for more. "I want to explore all the social issues that impact design and gain the hard skills required for building."
Theo isn't alone. Ever since Yestermorrow announced its Semester Program in February, I've heard from college students from Louisiana, Ecuador, California, Washington, Texas, and across New England. One settled on a course of study "because I couldn't find a college teaching what I wanted to learn." Another, well into her architecture degree, has yet to pick up a hammer. A future engineer faces "limited options to study environmental sustainability and less chance to participate in actual practice."
Talented, committed, curious—these young adults are in an educational system that hasn't addressed their learning styles or their interests. Hasn't allowed them to test out what they learn. Until now they've had limited choices.
Yestermorrow is changing all that.
In August, 15 undergraduates will begin Yestermorrow's Semester in Sustainable Design/Build. Design studios, seminars, and training in basic carpentry while they design and then construct a tiny self-sufficient house. They'll earn credit from UMass Amherst.
We're establishing a second campus for undergraduates in the fall and graduate students in the spring. I'm asking you to contribute today so we can outfit a studio, seminar room, shop, dining room, kitchen, and dorm rooms. We don't have much time.
We have to be ready when Theo arrives here on August 21st. With your financial support, we can welcome and nourish the students' minds and bodies. Transform their future. Fuel their passion. You can give Theo an educational experience he couldn't find anywhere else.
He and his classmates already have the desire to build a better world, it's up to you to make sure they have the tools to do so. I invite you to be part of that journey.
Donate $300 before May 1, and I'll add your name to a Founder's Plaque. Contribute more than $150, you'll receive updates about the students' progress throughout the semester. If $150 is too much money at one time, consider making a recurring monthly donation.
I hope you will visit this fall and see what we've created together.
P.S. If you believe this is one of the coolest innovations since sliced bread (we do), share this appeal with friends on your Facebook page or tweet about it . If you can’t afford much, make a monthly donation. $15 a month will go a long way toward paying for a fast internet connection at the new campus. Or get a group of friends to pitch in $20. Be part of making the semester program a success.
P.S. If you'd prefer to send a check, write it to Yestermorrow, and send it to: Yestermorrow, 189 VT Route 100, Warren, VT 05674.
Find out more about the Semester Program.