“I am passionate about all our educational projects and especially proud of our work on Paul Laurence Dunbar Young Men’s Leadership Academy because it’s in the heart of the Fort Worth’s Stop Six community. As a Black architect, the ability to design spaces educating and influencing our children preparing them for leadership and just as importantly opening their eyes to opportunities in the architectural profession by showing them people that look like them. The collective power of these young scholars is amazing and for KAI to be part of their academic journey is edifying knowing that these young men will change the world in ways that are still being formulated in their dreams.”
Embracing the Power of Education
The renovation and additions pay homage to the Stop Six community and celebrates the success of the young men who walk the halls of YMLA. The young men have embraced the spirit of African American poet and novelist Paul Laurence Dunbar and Reby Cary, a prominent Fort Worth native who focused on education and literacy to become the first Black professor at UTA – both of which improved themselves through the power of education. For these young men, YMLA is a part of their identity and serves as a cornerstone within their development and growth. The new facility serves as a canvas for them to imagine and create their futures for establishing a pathway to lifelong learning utilizing their inspirations as a springboard for their goals. YMLA boasts an outstanding graduation rate with many of their students going on to attend some of the most elite colleges and universities across the country and have been the recipients of millions of dollars of scholarships to help pay for their collegiate experiences.