ACE Mentoring is a non-profit, volunteer based mentor organization that pairs high school students interested in architecture, construction, and engineering (ACE) with professionals in the industry. For the last six-years I’ve served as a mentor, assisting with the program’s mission to engage, excite, and enlighten high school students to pursue careers in architecture, engineering, and construction.

The students tackle a new project every year, and learn about the architecture, engineering, and construction through the collaborative design process.  The projects are complex, detailed, and local, and have included such challenges as: STEM additions to schools; emergency housing that is rapidly deployable in response to rising sea levels; and recreating a school and community recreation center in East Boston. The program is an exciting, fast-paced introduction to the ACE industry that helps students learn more about the profession. At the conclusion of the program, scholarships are awarded to students going to college to study in any of the fields supported by ACE.

This year, the students are designing a community recreation center on the Rose Kennedy Greenway. We had meetings with the owner’s representative to understand program needs, and a mid-process pin-up to discuss design ideas / sequence of spaces with the rep.

A final presentation is the culmination of the year’s work – the three ACE of MA groups (BSA, WIT, SMMA/Cambridge) present their design solutions to a panel of industry professionals, as well as to family, friends, teachers, and mentors. This year, Lee Robert, one of my colleagues here at Arrowstreet has volunteered to be a panelist, and we’re both looking forward to the event.  Check back next week to hear about the presentation.

Topics: leadership