“Building for Children” Mentoring Program Kicks Off

Turner International and St. Mary’s Kids Begin Building for the Future

St. Mary’s kids traded in their legos for hardhats and are well on their way to becoming New York’s area next top developers.

On Thursday, January 27th, colleagues of Turner International, LLC, shared their in-depth knowledge of the construction and development business with the children of St. Mary’s, during the kick-off of the newly launched “Building for Children” mentoring and occupational therapy program created by Nick Billotti, President & CEO of Turner International, one of the largest construction management companies in the world.

Over the years, Mr. Billotti has played a significant role in helping to raise awareness and funds for St. Mary’s kids, and his generosity has gone a long way for some of the most seriously ill and injured children in the New York Metropolitan area. His efforts were recently recognized as he was named the honoree of St. Mary’s 2008 Tribute Dinner where he announced his plans for “Building for Children” to help St. Mary’s Healthcare System for Children further its mission to improve the health and quality of life for children with special needs and their families.

The monthly volunteer program is aimed at doing just that as it brings together teams from the construction, development, and real estate industries with St. Mary’s kids for an hour of building, drawing, developing, and other activities that promote therapeutic value for patients. Taking time out of their busy days, team members from Turner will roll up their sleeves with St. Mary’s kids and teach them the ropes of the development and construction business.

During Thursday’s kick-off visit, members of the Turner team, Ark Latt, John Braley, Brian Cox, and Aubrey Zickel, explained the various skills, roles, and responsibiities required for constructing a building; such as a foreman, an architect, an engineer, and a construction worker.

St. Mary’s kids were then split into groups, assigned jobs, and given a box of legos and diagrams, and with the help of Turner’s colleagues, began constructing cranes, vehicles, and small buildings. It took concentration, dexterity, and teamwork to get the job done – and St. Mary’s kids were up for the challenge!

The Turner crew enjoyed working with the kids of St. Mary’s, and was very impressed with their creativity, energy, and determination. They are looking forward to returning to St. Mary’s with a few more challenging projects on hand.