This summer, we had the pleasure bringing an intern into our office. This was a first for us, working with a newly graduated teen. We quickly learned that there are no limits to what dedicated young people can do, and we’re so happy to have gotten to know Johana and to have helped her along her path to becoming an architect. Here’s a bit more about the experience:

From Maria:

I first met Johana while attending the Celebrate North Portland 2019 event, she was awarded the Youth Leadership Award for achievements made in the community as a High School student. Johana’s story was presented and she gave a short acceptance speech. Her story and career goals were inspirational. She spoke about wanting to become an Architect and use her education to make an impact in her home in the Congo. After the event, I spoke to Johana about interning at Convergence Architecture for the summer! 

From Johana:

My time at Convergence Architecture has been outstanding. I will be attending the University of Oregon this fall term and plan to Major in Landscape Architecture. My career goal is to start an Architectural firm that will focus on improving the infrastructure of non-industrialized countries in both Central and West Africa. My time at Convergence Architecture has helped me learn more about the steps of becoming an Architect and what an Architect really does. 

At Convergence, I have learnt that for a project to be completed, there steps to be followed. I have gained skills in using Photoshop and in designing indoor spaces. Through my internship I have seen how Convergence Architecture is focused on working with the people who make up the St. Johns Community. This has opened my thinking on how I want my own firm to operate in the future. 

Everyday, I am surprised to see everyone at the office take time to listen and answer my questions. Over the few months that I have been at Convergence I believe that I can achieve my future goal and be a successful African female Architect. At one time, I thought that I would pursue an education in engineering, but after completing a job shadow, I learned that I was not interested in following that path. When I first began at Convergence, it seemed so overwhelming, even measuring the break room was complicated. After awhile, I learned that there are many parts and pieces to architecture and design, and that I will have the opportunity to learn and practice each of them while I am in school. Every time I tell other African girls my future plan of becoming an Architect and that I have the opportunity to work in an Architecture office, they are shocked and inspired because such career opportunities are never an option for African girls. I am very grateful for this learning chance you have given me.

We wish Johana all the best as she pursues her goals at the University of Oregon. It was a joy to meet and work with her, and we have no doubt that she’ll be able to achieve her goals! Thanks for adding to our team, Johana!