ACE Mentor Program of Greater Boston is a free after-school program run by local design and construction professionals with the goal of inspiring high school students to pursue careers in the architecture, construction and engineering industries. Students have the opportunity to learn from professionals in an introductory program gaining experience in industries such as civil engineering, construction management, and interior design, to name a few. Along with the hands-on experience, students who participate in the program have the opportunity to receive a scholarship to further their education in their specific industry of choice. In March 2018, the program awarded $116,000 in scholarships, ranging from $4,000 to $12,000, to graduating high school seniors.
ACE of Greater Boston runs its mentor program from October 2018 through March 2019, starting with the Student Kick-Off event on Wednesday, Oct. 17, 2018 at Wentworth Institute of Technology. To sign up for the program, please attend the event or visit the registration site. Throughout the program, each participating student will meet with an assigned mentor weekly at one of the four meeting locations. Participants have the choice of attending one of the following locations: Wentworth Institute of Technology (Tuesdays), Boston Society of Architects (Wednesdays), SMMA (Wednesdays) or Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology (Thursdays).
Students reap the benefits of working alongside mentors who are full-time architects, engineers and project managers for companies including but not limited to Turner Construction Company, Gilbane Building Company, Bolyston Properties and Perkins + Will. They will learn valuable skills and practices of working on a construction site, as well as developing skills to maneuver design and construction software programs. The students also have the ability to build professional contacts in their field of work, potentially leading to more high school and college internship opportunities.
At the conclusion of the program, participating students give a final presentation in front of a panel of industry experts highlighting their work throughout the program. Also at the year-end award ceremony, the students receive scholarships and the Mentor of the Year is presented to a crowd of hundreds of industry professionals.
“This is an exciting time as we gear up for another year giving high school students the hands-on experience and a clear advantage – both financially and academically – to pursue higher education in the sought-after architecture, construction and engineering industries,” said Michael Tecci, chairman, ACE Mentor Program of Greater Boston. “There is a clear need for skilled architects, engineers, project managers, and designers, and we at ACE are proud to help prepare youth across the region to better take advantage of these opportunities, ultimately blazing a path to jobs in those industries in companies already aligned with the ACE program in a lot of cases.”
ACE of Greater Boston was launched in 2007 and is one of 70-plus affiliates under the ACE national umbrella. Through practical, project-based, hands-on explorations, students work collaboratively and creatively to design innovative solutions to real world problems. With professional guidance by esteemed industry mentors who are full-time employees of construction, design and engineering firms, students embark on a five-month design project, through weekly sessions after school, to develop the professionalism, teamwork, and collaboration that the industry requires. During this time, the students construct a hypothetical project in order to learn about each discipline and take part in activities such as the ABX (Architecture Boston Expo) exhibition hall scavenger hunt, site visits, Revit training and trade day.