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Reaching for new heights

“Engineers are changing the world all of the time. They dream up creative, practical solutions and work with other smart, inspiring people to invent, design and create things that matter.”

-www.discovere.org

Hanson’s Matt Heyen, P.E., a transportation engineer, and his wife, Nichole, principal of Lincoln Magnet School (LMS) in Springfield, Illinois, recently attended the premiere of the short film “Dream Big: Engineering Our World” in Peoria with their family and a group of LMS students.

Hanson is a strong proponent of encouraging kids to explore educational opportunities and careers in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). Mentoring is a part of Hanson’s culture, and our employees work with students of all ages through various activities and programs to share STEM’s impact on our world.

Hanson’s Matt Heyen, P.E., a transportation engineer, recently attended the premiere of the short film “Dream Big: Engineering Our World” in Peoria, Illinois, with his family and a group of students from Springfield’s Lincoln Magnet School. The documentary is playing in museums and science centers across the country. Matt says, “The film was an excellent portrayal of the impact that engineers have on our world and the potential for future generations to build upon dreams they have now, creating reality in their future.”

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign also put the spotlight on engineering when it welcomed the public to its annual Engineering Open House on Saturday, March 11. Representatives from Hanson, Frontiers International Inc. and local high school students attended the event as part of the Grow Our Own Minority Participation Program.

Grow Our Own provides opportunities for minority students to explore educational and career options in STEM fields. The city of Springfield, Sangamon County and Hanson have joined forces since 2013 to fund and implement this program.

The Springfield chapter of Frontiers International Inc. recently presented service awards to the city, county and Hanson in honor of Grow Our Own and for supporting the club and its youth programs. Frontiers International is a national, nonprofit African-American service organization. The Springfield club mentors African-American youth and offers an annual scholarship to college-bound high school seniors.

Grow Our Own has become the model for the new Open Door Program sponsored by the Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce and executed by Lincoln Land Community College in Springfield. The program provides a combination of academic guidance, business mentoring and internships for minority students. Its goal is to introduce students to a variety of careers in our community, including those in business, banking, medicine, insurance, accounting, law and information technology.

Dream big

Mark Twain once wrote that “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you do, so throw off the bowlines, sail away from safe harbor, catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”

Exploration, dreaming and discovery are words that should encourage all of us, including our kids, students and the next generation of dreamers and doers, to take action and pursue our interests. We help our clients take their dreams and transform them to reality. We help keep the public and our environment safe. And our designs can reflect what it means to be responsible stewards of our environment and resources — now and for future generations.

“The film was an excellent portrayal of the impact that engineers have on our world and the potential for future generations to build upon dreams they have now, creating reality in their future.”

-Matt Heyen, P.E.
Transportation engineer

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