Towards the end of her architecture education Co-founder/President Jaime Collins had the opportunity to travel abroad for several months. While this experience positively changed her own perceptions of the world, through living in a community for an extended period of time, she became aware that her continued interaction with locals also created a positive change in their perceptions of her country. Additionally, Jaime was exposed to the difficulties that rural communities face. This reality was brought to her attention during her studies of street kids in Argentina which was the focus of the architectural studio she was taking. This sparked a desire to impact the source of the problem, rural conditions, in lieu of the symptom the studio projects were trying to tackle.
The idea of mutual cultural understanding, socially and environmentally impactful architecture, and the long-term dream of starting a youth camp came together to define the concept for Everlasting Marks.
Co-Founder Jamie Nevers, with her strong background in business management and development, helped take Everlasting Marks from a vision to a reality. Jackie Kilgore joined the team just before EM incorporated in August 2007. Shortly after Everlasting Marks was granted 501(c)3 tax exempt status by the IRS in December 2007.
Since its founding Everlasting Marks has found multiple partners with whom to do their projects, engaging hundreds of youth in the building process.