I have said this before, but one of the biggest surprise benefits for me as a first-time homeowner is the social connection and pride I instantly developed for my new neighborhood that had previously been lacking as a renter. This sense of place and ownership pushed me to get involved in volunteering with initiatives such as the community development corporation and neighborhood school outreach programs, and yesterday was one of those days when those efforts paid off. For the past 4-months, I have been working with students in the first and second grade at Pleasant Ridge Montessori to teach them about design and architecture through a project based learning program called Design LAB, and yesterday their projects were showcased at the Main Downtown Branch of the Cincinnati Public Library as part of the 2016 Design LAB Fair. Below are some pictures of their work, and here is a link to a blog post I wrote for SHP Leading Design that describes the program in more detail. The bottom line here is that not only does home ownership benefit the homeowner, but it also benefits the surrounding community in ways that renting simply cannot replicate.