Class Act: Lewisville senior looking to build better future through architecture

LEWISVILLE -- This week's CW33 Class Act is Elizabeth Shoven from Lewisville High School!

Elizabeth learns best when she has visuals and hands-on materials to work with.  So even though she didn't always know it, architecture was destined to be a perfect passion for her.

"When I was younger I really wanted to be a graphic artist or an animator.  But I fell in love with history, and architecture, in my opinion, is like the materialization of history."

Elizabeth, who also plays the marimba--basically a big xylophone--in her marching band's drumline, is always on the lookout for architectural inspiration.  A project to design a fictional city in the Korean Demilitarized Zone uniting the North and South came about from a family vacation mishap in Washington state.

"My family accidentally drove into Canada and then we ended up getting escorted out of Canada.  So, I was like, 'Well, what if we could just co-reside on the border?'  That would be really interesting...to try to unite people with architecture."

Elizabeth cites Louis Kahn as a design inspiration but says she doesn't need to be a "starchitect"--a star architect--like him; she enjoys teamwork as much as solo work.  But before she could build anything she first had to build up herself, and she hopes to inspire others to do the same with whatever they're passionate about.

"I'd like to consider myself a pretty confident person, [but] it's taken me a while to get here.  I've had many people be like, 'You can't do that,' 'You're not smart enough,' 'You can't do that, you're a girl,' something like that.  But honestly, I feel like if you really love something, do it.  Just run after it with everything you've got.

"I know who I am, and I'm excited to be who I am and chase after my future."

And that's what makes her a Class Act!

If you know of a student in DFW (in any grade) who deserves our spotlight, email a nomination to ClassActs@CW33.com (to see the kind of kids we're looking for, check out our previous Class Acts).  The features air on Fridays during the school year on NewsFix at 5 p.m. and 9 p.m.