Student Testimonials

“The ACE Mentor Program has been a great opportunity for me over this past year. By meeting with professionals from the fields of Architecture, Engineering and Construction, it helped me relate the ideas learned in the classroom to real world projects and buildings." — Joshua Heath, Oak Park High School (Kansas City, MO)

“The ACE Mentor Program was a great addition to the extra curricular activities at my school since I had never had a mentor program before. The ACE Mentor Program gave me a better understanding of what I will be doing in college and helped me prepare for it. After earning my landscape architecture degree, I not only plan to start a new company, but I also hope to contribute to the community through my work. I intend to use my expertise to assist organizations and the government design reforestation projects and restore the wetlands. I would also like to design more aesthetically pleasing commercial areas to create more green space.” — Daniel Ryder, Mt. St. Joseph High School (Baltimore, MD)

“Being part of ACE encouraged me to continue pursuing architecture as a course of study. The internship at an architectural firm this past summer allowed me to further observe the profession of architecture. I found ACE very enjoyable and was impressed at how many professionals are devoted to mentoring high school students.” — Christine Kim, Upper Dublin High School, (Eastern Pennsylvania)

”If I were to describe the ACE Mentor Program to someone, I would not know where to begin. I was amazed that a program like this existed where students could have a hands-on experience in a real project. Once I had started to go to the workshops, I loved the atmosphere of the mentors helping and teaching students. The fact that I could take these skills to college also made me feel confident and interested in the program. The ACE Mentor Program is an outstanding program allowing students to visualize their possible futures and learn about exciting careers in architecture, engineering, and construction.” — Ricardo Leon, Bishop Lynch High School (Dallas-Ft. Worth, TX)

“I am very grateful to have found the ACE Mentor Program. It has allowed me to express myself creatively and to explore the careers I am interested in.” — Bridget Moran, Presentation High School (San Francisco)

“Being involved with the ACE Mentor Program has shown me how interesting and challenging an engineer's career can be. The program taught me the complicated building process step-by-step. It showed me what the real world of an engineer is like and now I know for sure that this is what I want to do for my career life.” — Roman Vovchak, Lane Tech High School, (Illinois)

“The ACE program has taught me new skills that will help me in college. Because of ACE, I want to mentor when I graduate from college and excite others about the construction industry.” — Angel Ruacho, Dorsey High School (Greater Los Angeles)

“In my two years with ACE, the program showed me the great possibilities that exist beyond the classroom in the real world. It introduced me to the different career paths that engineering has to offer. I also learned to work in a group, negotiate with clients and present a proposal. ACE showed me the path to success in my future as an engineer and a leader.” — Samrawit Fikru Belew, Bell Multicultural High School (Greater Washington, DC)

“ACE underscored how engineering is the basis of all structures and infrastructures. Experiencing how different areas of architecture and engineering work, it inspired me to want to create similar projects that will help the field of landscape architecture. The ACE Mentor Program has given me the enthusiasm I need to pursue further learning and will help me in the future to match innovative ideas to the needs of specific projects.” — Rey Rebolledo, San Diego High School (San Diego)

“The ACE Mentor Program has been an amazing opportunity to experience hands-on work with professionals in the field. It has helped me decide what career path to follow. It is one thing to read about the trades and another to actually construct what you imagine.” — Katarina Ivezic, Benson Polytechnic High School (Portland, Oregon)

“I want to be an engineer. ACE is a great opportunity for me to take a further step toward my goal." — Long Lin, Alameda High School (Denver, CO)

"ACE gave me the opportunity as a high school student to learn about the collaboration between architects and engineers in preparation for a construction project. After my experience I was even more interested i structures and how fascinating they can be. As I prepare to graduate with adegree in civil engineering I have the ACE program to thank for my initial interest sparking experience!"— Danielle Lockman

“The ACE program gave me a clear idea of the various engineering fields and those that are involved in the building industry. ACE gave me an opportunity to experience these careers. The mentors are great. They answered any questions I had as well as explained what they do every day. The mock project allowed me to practice the techniques of engineering through a hands-on project. I loved it.” — Lisa Verzemnieks, Holy Names Academy (Seattle, WA)

"This program will help anyone interested in construction-related careers. I learned to think “outside the box” and to understand how to make my goals and objectives become true. The ACE program is a great way to learn about how things work in the real life business of architecture, engineering and construction.” — Latisha Patel, William Dickinson High School (Jersey City, NJ)


“My involvement in ACE has been highly rewarding and vastly exceeded my expectations. Not only do I have the opportunity to design a realistic project, but now I am equipped with authentic tools and technology to complete the design. ACE has been a key catalyst promoting my interests. ACE has expanded my horizons and shown me the endless world of opportunities that are available in this area.” — Dana McKinney, Trumbull High School (Bridgeport-Stratford, CT )

"My time in ACE was invaluable. After speaking with architects and engineers, I was able to understand these professions and decide on my career goals. With a group of peers I was able to get a feel of what a major construction project is like. Our team formulated a goal, and we accomplished it together." — Edward Cheung, Brooklyn Technical High School (New York City)

“I have participated in ACE for 4 years and have really enjoyed it. The program has opened my eyes to the many opportunities a career in construction can bring. Likewise, I have learned presentation skills, team work, time management and group organization, all of which I will use in my career.” — Joe Zarasua, Cathedral City High School (Palm Springs, CA)

“I have participated in the ACE Mentor Program for two years and have benefited tremendously from my participation. As scheduler, I leaned to read and create project timelines in the Gantt Chart Format. I also gained the experience of presenting my work to a client during the final group presentation. Because of the contacts I made during the year, I received an internship with Bechtel Corporation. ACE is a great way to build a personal network that will help me in the future.” — Julia Diaz, Brunswick High School (Frederick, MD)

“The ACE program gave me clarity about my career choice.” — Davis Quarles, Battle Ground Academy (Tennessee)

“ACE has given me a head start in learning the expectations and responsibilities of an architect. I now know what is expected as I go on to college and what I need to do to prepare myself.” — Greg Swift, Schalmont High School (New York)

“It was a great experience being part of ACE. This is a great way to learn. The program taught me how businesses have to work together to create a whole. I am proud to tell the colleges I am applying to that I was part of this program. This is an experience I will never forget.” — Wilfrido Hernandez, George Washington High School (Indianapolis, IN)

“ACE has provided me with an inside look at the fields of architecture and engineering. It has given me real hands-on experience with the design process and the actual construction process. The ACE Mentor Program has provided me with the sources I need to make a decision about which direction to follow in college. I now have a foot in the door of an exciting industry!” — Kevin Miller, Mount St Joseph High School (Baltimore, MD)

“Thanks to ACE I have seen the type of jobs architects do and what it takes for me to get there. I hope I can mentor in this program when I graduate from college.” — Nadezhda Polyanskaya, Roosevelt High School (San Antonio, TX)

"When my Algebra teacher, Mr. Diffley, asked me during my sophomore year what I wanted to study in college, I thought about my older brother, Jamal, who is studying engineering at North Carolina A&T University.

I’ve looked up to Jamal for as long as I can remember. He is my favorite brother out of seven and one of the first in my family to go to college. Jamal always had this subtle, yet powerful, and intimidating, yet friendly demeanor. He was extremely intelligent. I’ve always wanted to be just like him.

So when Mr. Diffley asked me about my plans for college, I responded assuredly: engineering.

That’s when Mr. Diffley told me about the ACE Mentor Program…

'I think you should join it,' Mr. Diffley suggested. So I followed Mr. Diffley’s advice -- and the decision made me realize that I definitely want to pursue a career in engineering.

The first thing we did was choose a group project. We decided to design a hospital.

The project called for a number of design considerations and necessities, such as a backup generator, a cafeteria, an emergency entrance and parking lot for ambulances, plenty of rooms and bathrooms, and incinerator, a parking lot and lobby.

Later, we got into more detailed discussions about things such as an eco-efficient rainwater collection system to flush the toilets, hexagon-shaped rooms with triangular bathrooms, and how to design the different wards.

Although it took a lot of hard work, we ultimately came up with a design for a state-of-the art, energy efficient hospital facility that still had visual appeal.

I had an immense feeling of accomplishment when my peers and I presented our hospital design in the ACE Mentor conference in Washington, D.C. I felt elated to be a part of something so sophisticated. Over the course of eight months in ACE, I learned many valuable lessons but the most crucial lesson I learned was about function. That is to say, anyone can have a good design idea but it has to function properly in order to get built.

Being in the ACE Mentor program opened my eyes to so many different aspects of architecture in engineering. I’d like nothing more than the opportunity to continue my engineering studies at [your university]." - Michelle Thompson, Bell Multicultural High School (Washington DC)