Gary Gaston with Design Your Neighborhood 2011 alumni: (left to right) Caleb Triplett, Allison Plattsmier, and Shanese Brown

The Citizenship in Action programs and resources have had profound impacts on youth.  We have seen youth become more aware of the world around them, and motivated to be involved in their communities.  The exposure to design and planning careers at a young age has also proven to inspire some to follow design related career paths.

“While it was one of the first jobs I ever had, my internship with the Nashville Civic Design Center is my most accomplished business endeavor to date. Being a part of the “Design Your Neighborhood” program is ultimately what solidified my decision to study Nonprofit Management and sparked my dream of being a change agent in my community. At 16, not many youth believe that they can make a difference. The fact that I was able to be a part of such an important project in the Nashville community set my motivation for the future. Now at 22 years old, I firmly believe that I am capable of impactful change and I hope to inspire other youth to recognize their potential as well. The program also gave me an extremely tight-knit network of professionals that have helped propel my career. I am currently the Associate Director of Programs and Development for the Transit Alliance of Middle Tennessee and the Managing Director of Transformation Nashville, both senior-level executive positions. Not many people can say that at my age and I owe it all to the people who helped launch my career.”


Allison Plattsmier

Summer 2011 Participant

Associate Director of Programs and Development

Transit Alliance of Middle Tennessee


Video Testimonials

Amira White - LEAD Academy Freshman Seminar 2016

Jarvis Carruthers - LEAD Academy Freshman Seminar 2016

Lyzette Garza - LEAD Academy Freshman Seminar Teacher


Design Your Neighborhood 2011 - One Year Later