Mentors are vital to implementing the programmatic mission of ACE GNY. While serving as professional role models and helping students learn about the integrated construction industry through informal presentations, office visits, and site tours, mentors guide their students through hands-on activities and the development of a team design project. Mentors are welcome to join ACE GNY as part of their firm or individually. Individuals who participate in ACE GNY gain an altruistic sense of “giving back”, the gratification that comes with sharing knowledge and wisdom with eager students. In addition, mentoring presents a variety of networking opportunities, as well as chances to sharpen individual presentation, leadership, and other professional skills.
Teams are comprised of 25-30 high school students, ranging in grade level and background familiarity of the field. Teams are led by 10-15 mentors from different firms and disciplines. Each team must have representation of Architects, Civil/Structural Engineers, Mechanical/Electrical/Plumbing Engineers, and Construction Managers. Teams are led by 2-4 Team Leaders, who develop a curriculum for the season and work with mentors to create a supportive learning environment for students. Teams meet from early November through May, meeting once weekly or bi-weekly for 1-2 hours at firms across the Greater NYC area. ACE GNY operates on the New York City Department of Education school calendar.
Mentor Requirements and Expectations
- Complete a registration profile on the ACE GNY website each program year and complete the online mentor training
- Clear a full criminal background check (paid for by ACE GNY) every three years
- Currently be working in the A-E-C industry
- Commit to a team for the program year, attending at least 60% of the team’s meetings
- Support mentor team in implementing lesson plans to explain industry topics to high school students
- Engage students in virtual hands-on activities as part of the mentor team
- Work collaboratively with other mentors to demonstrate how the different industry disciplines interact on a project
- Advise students about decision making, college major choices, and career development
- Provide knowledge to students on what to expect in college and career
- Be willing to write letters of recommendations for college and/or scholarship applications
Resources Available for Mentors
- Pre-recorded introductory resources that cover the core ACE GNY disciplines
- Monthly ACE GNY Newsletters
- Webinars and online mentor trainings
- Professional development events for all mentors
- Annual summer ACE GNY mentor appreciation event (Mentor Summer Social)
- Mentor community of over 600 individuals to network with
- ACE GNY Staff support throughout the season
ACE GNY offers many avenues through which individuals and firms can support the organization’s mission beyond mentoring on a team.
- Speakers Bureau – An internal collection of industry professionals who are available as guest speakers for any ACE GNY team who is seeking support in one of the core ACE disciplines or a specialized profession (acoustical engineering, sustainability, etc.). Individuals in the Speakers Bureau will float among teams that need support and will not be specifically assigned on rosters.
- Alumni Mentoring – As an Alumni Mentor, you can choose to provide one-on-one mentoring to an Alumnus near the end of their college journey and as they enter into the industry or provide one-on-one mentoring to an incoming college freshman for all four years of their college career. Mentors check-in once a month to offer support via email, phone, or video calls.
The Mentor Experience
I was introduced to the ACE program as a high school student back in 2010. I am now 3 years out of engineering school and have been working in the MEP Engineering industry ever since. Mentoring with ACE is my way of paying it forward. Whether or not the students realize it yet, they appreciate your time and will be better prepared for when it’s time for them to embark on their own journey. And as it did in my case back in high school, the ripple effects of giving back will continue so long as we as a society believe in and continue to put time and effort into initiatives like the ACE Mentor Program.- Jose Suarez, MEP Engineer