Mission, background and program structure

The ACE Mentor Program is a not-for-profit organization that helps prepare high school students for careers in design and construction through mentoring by industry professionals.  Our 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 was founded in New York City in 1995 by leading architects, contractors, engineers and owners.  It has grown to more than 8,000 students and 2,500 mentors in 200 cities and 40 states.  Since its inception, the program has served over 5,000 students in New York and 65,000 students nationwide.  In 2013, over 800 students registered for the program in New York alone.  72% of ACE students are minorities and 49% are female.

Program Structure

  • High school students, particularly from under-represented populations, are introduced to careers in the design/construction field.
  • Teams are made up of 15-30 students and 5-7 mentors from different industry disciplines.
  • A Team Leader sets the project schedule, prepares meeting agendas and may host or arrange the meeting location.
  • At least 15 biweekly meetings are held from 4 to 6pm during the school year.
  • Mentors present industry overviews, assign activities from ACE’s Best Practices Manual and guide the students through the development of a design project.
  • At the end of the season, students present their project just as a real design team would present to a potential client.
  • Scholarships are awarded to top students at a luncheon in May.

ACE New York has awarded $1,887,000 in scholarships to 915 program graduates.

 Join ACE today and help strengthen the future of our industry!