Young Creatives Trailblaze for Future Design Professionals
AOB alumni lead in their own careers and leave pathways for others to follow
Edgar Alvarado is a working architect with a degree from the University of Maryland, and a Pour Your Art Out (PYAO) alumnus. Each year through our PYAO creative workforce development program, up to 60 youth work with established artists/mentors and clients in a professional studio setting on commissioned public artworks.
The son of South American immigrants, Edgar and his younger brother Christian were raised with pride for their Latino roots; ethos to help others; and encouragement to excel. Both have an exceptional gift and passion for drawing that was evident from their early days in the AOB studio.
Although Edgar’s artistic talent and future promise were obvious, his professional trajectory was unclear until his involvement in AOB through a partnership with Montgomery Blair High School. Not only did he discover opportunities to grow academically and artistically, but he also found his path to youth leadership in his beloved Long Branch community.
Edgar always took pride in this community, but also understood his neighbors’ perceived lack of safety due to gang-tagging and graffiti found throughout their housing complex. This was the issue that he and other area youth tackled through a public art project in their culturally-rich neighborhood.
During the mural project, Edgar became a change agent through the arts. He learned about the public art process and consensus building among disparate groups while honing his creative talent. Through AOB partnerships, he was introduced to careers in numerous art and design professions, including architecture. He also met with career advisors from Montgomery College, MICA, and University of Maryland; engaged with mock interview experts; and was guided through the college admissions process.
Edgar has been accepted into the Architecture program at Yale University and plans to achieve his Masters in Architecture and start his own firm. Until recently, he held the alumni seat on AOB’s Board of Directors where he “paid it forward” for young people like Christian, who is following in his brother’s footsteps and completing his first degree at University of Maryland.