At the age of 15, Andrea Pardo-Spalding was a teenager in Parral, Chihuahua, Mexico, unable to speak English and nearing poverty. Today, she is a successful architectural designer who is just months away from becoming a licensed architect for HMN Architects, a full-service architectural and interior design firm based in Overland Park, Kansas.
With minimal English speaking skills, Andrea and her family moved to the United States in search of a better life. Andrea immediately enrolled in Wyandotte High School while her parents worked at a local restaurant. With the help of an English-Spanish dictionary, El Centro (a United Way partner who once provided English classes), and a lot of determination, she eventually learned to speak English.
During high school, Andrea continued to excel, not only as a student, but also as a volunteer and a leader. She became a mentor and advocate for immigrant student higher education opportunities by bringing awareness within Kansas City and even to the Kansas Legislature.
Through these efforts and persistence, Andrea was accepted to attend college — just days before high school graduation. Andrea gives much credit to journalist, Mary Sanchez, who wrote about the struggle of immigrant students to reach a college education in The Kansas City Star in April 2004 as well as her many mentors along the way. But most of the credit, she admits, goes to her exemplary, hard-working parents and grandparents, who taught her that anything is possible.
“Although the pursuit of the American Dream once seemed like an uphill battle, for me it is with the endurance and resilience of one’s character that beating the odds is possible,” Pardo-Spalding said.
Throughout high school, college and her professional career, Andrea has been involved in many organizations and received numerous Honors, Awards and Accreditations including:
– Volunteer for the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC)
– Recipient of the President’s National Volunteer Service Award
– Recipient of multiple college scholarships; including the Greater Kansas City Hispanic Scholarship Fund
– Member of the Developing Scholars Program (directed by Anita Cortez who funded her research work on downtown redevelopment for professors in the College of Architecture)
– Winner of the 2006 “Inspire by Example Award” by the Community First National Bank
– Winner of the 2006 “Lideres de Hoy Essay Contest Award” by Allstate and the National Council of la Raza
– Recognition of Design Merit by K-State Department of Architecture
– Masters of Architecture degree from Kansas State University
– LEED Accredited Professional
– In the process of becoming a Licensed Architect in the state of Kansas
Andrea continues to support the Hispanic community while working on becoming a licensed architect. She single-handedly started designing residential plans in her community including, six new single-family homes for Community Housing of Wyandotte County and Mission Adelante home remodel. Simultaneously, she also brought awareness about building codes and regulations by writing educational articles which have been published in El Sol de Kansas Magazine.
Andrea commends HMN Architects who opened the door for her in 2014 to join their team. She enjoys the variety of projects including Healthcare, Education, and Retail and is fascinated with the process of each design phase. As a forward-thinking, LEED Accredited Professional, one of Andrea’s main goals is to engage with community services that involve sustainable practices and technology innovation.
“My motivation stems from a genuine interest to give back to my community. With my commitment and vision, I yearn to make a difference in the built environment of the Greater Kansas City area,” Pardo-Spalding said.
Working with HMN Architects since 2014, Andrea brings energy and determination to her projects, which include (indicated with an asterisk are some projects with a previous firm):
Golden Valley Memorial Healthcare, Clinton, MO
Overland Park Regional Medical Center, Overland Park, Kansas
Olathe Medical Services, Olathe, Kansas
- OMSI / OMCI College Point Renovation
- Olathe Cancer Center
Stormont-Vail HealthCare, Topeka, Kansas
- North Clinic
Lafayette Regional Health Center, Lexington, MO
- Health Center Addition & Renovation (not built)
Cass Regional Medical Center, Harrisonville, MO
- MRI & Imaging Addition
Barber County Commission, Medicine Lodge, Kansas
Kids TLC, Olathe, Kansas
- 151st Terrace Addition & Remodel (in-progress)
Royster Middle School, Chanute, Kansas
- Gymnasium Addition (not built)
*El Torito Market, Kansas City, Kansas
- Remodel of Neighborhood Market & Restaurant
*Fogones Mexican Grill, Shawnee, Kansas
- Remodel of Dining Area & Kitchen
*Acapulco Auto Sales, Kansas City, MO
- Remodel of Office & Garage
*Grace Episcopal Church of Ottawa, Ottawa, Kansas
- Dining Room Addition & Renovation
*St. Timothy Episcopal Church, Iowa, Kansas
- Fellowship Hall Addition & Renovation
Andrea continues to support the Hispanic community in Kansas City along with her role-model parents, who opened their own successful authentic Mexican restaurant, Pardo’s Grand Buffet Mexicano in 2009.
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