J.C. Calderón recognizes that his time at Yale was transformational, both personally and professionally. Growing up in Brooklyn as a public-school student born to immigrant parents, he acknowledges that it wasn’t a given that he would go on to attend schools such as Williams College, where he graduated in 1987, or the Yale School of Architecture, from which he earned his master’s degree in 1992.
Calderón is immensely grateful for his teachers and mentors along the way. It is from this vantage point that he is motivated to mentor students today and encourage them to fulfill their potential. One way he does this is by providing students with internships in his architecture practice in Beacon, New York. He is currently president of the Yale Club of Mid-Hudson Valley, and his volunteer service for Yale has involved him in 1stGenYale, the Yale Latino Alumni Network (YLAN), and the Yale Day of Service, for which he has organized projects on behalf of the School of Architecture.
Yale’s goals of diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) are ones that Calderón has encouraged throughout his adult life. He was still a student at Yale when, in 1991, he organized the “People of Color in Architecture” symposium, which garnered national press. He has continued to be an advocate of DEI in the decades since, not only at Yale but also in his chosen profession of architecture, and he hopes to advocate for these interests while serving on the YAA Board of Governors.