ACE Mentoring: Engage, Excite, & Enlighten

ACE Mentoring: Engage, Excite, & Enlighten

By: Lindsay Ferro With graduation soon approaching for many students, I can’t help but remember when I was a high school senior getting ready to walk across the stage and begin a whole new chapter of my life. It was just a short EIGHT years ago that I graduated from high school. (It’s crazy how time flies!) I can easily remember the feelings of excitement, stress, nervousness, and fear as I tried to decide on just the right college that would support a career I enjoyed. I thought I wanted to be an architect, or an interior designer, or maybe even a teacher! Who really knows until you start taking classes relating to the profession, right? Well, it wasn’t until this year that I discovered the ACE mentoring program (as a mentor), and I wish it would have been a program at my high school when I was trying to decide on a career. The ACE program’s mission is to “engage, excite and enlighten high school students to pursue careers in architecture, engineering, and construction through mentoring and to support their continued advancement in the industry.” The program brings various volunteers currently working in the construction and design industry together to mentor students at the local high schools on their field of work. Each year the students are given a design project that they are to complete with guidance from their mentors throughout the school year. The after school sessions all lead up to a banquet at the end of the semester where the students present their final project in front of the community. Sponsors and the ACE foundation raise money to honor the students that excel in the program, and award them with scholarships at the banquet to attend a college of their choice to study any major in the construction, engineering, or architecture/design fields. I just recently finished up my last mentoring session in the ACE program at Decatur High School this year, and the local scholarship banquet was held just last Thursday May 12th. As a mentor, I was able to network with fellow industry professionals and experience the rewarding joy of teaching students that look up to me and my career. It is such a joy to see and hear the students get so excited for the final presentation. My involvement in the program has also been a great learning experience and has pushed me to further my leadership skills. For anyone who is passionate about their career and who enjoys teaching others I would strongly encourage you to consider participating during the next school year. The experience is worth your time!

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