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Meet the Future 101 with Beth Moore

By Arnesa A. Howell

For 11 years, the annual Meet the Future luncheon has celebrated the brightest students of the Academy of Construction and Design (ACAD), housed at IDEA Public Charter School in Northeast Washington, D.C.

But for those new to this event, there may be questions about why there is a Meet the Future luncheon and what is its significance. Here, Beth Moore, director of Foundation Programs for the D.C. Students Construction Trades Foundation, breaks down the basics:

What is the Meet the Future luncheon?
The Meet the Future luncheon is designed for students to learn first-hand about careers in the construction industry and related fields, and for industry leaders to share what it takes to be successful.

What is the significance of its name?
We chose the name “Meet the Future” to signal to our supporters and partners in industry, education and government that the event is an opportunity to literally meet the future workforce. Their participation is critical to engaging students in meaningful activities and discussion that will shape their vision for future careers. Our mission to “Build Bright Futures” is served well by the engagement of business owners.

Why is this event important for the kids? construction industry? city?
When we started the luncheon in 2007, we imagined that the one-on-one interactions between industry leaders, ACAD students and ACAD alumni would be the most compelling part of the event. Now, celebrating our 11th annual Meet the Future, we can see that has proven to be the case.

What do you hope is the biggest takeaway for students?
We want students – and their parents – to see that they are on a pathway that will lead them to a successful future, that success is within their reach, that their success in ACAD and learning a career will lead them to college and career opportunities they might never have imagined, and that their work today will prepare them to be the business leaders in the room mentoring future students. Every year, we hear from students how a single interaction with an industry leader has inspired them to consider a different career.

What is the highlight of the event?
The private reception before the luncheon is such a great opportunity for students and alumni to network with industry leaders from all types of careers. ACAD students come prepared with business cards to apply the networking skills they have developed through the year, and they really work the room! Supporters can see for themselves the impact of their support.