Akilah W. Darden, MBA LEED BD+C
The Darden Group, LLC
2020 Scholarship Recipients
Eighteen students were awarded a combined $53,000 in scholarships.
View the list of winners.
Thanks to our 67 mentors who have helped us this past year in making our affiliate such a success.
View our Mentors.
Board of Directors
Thanks to our 58 mentors, representing 36 companies, who have helped us this past year in making our affiliate a success.
View our board members.
The ACE Mentor Program is a unique partnership among local high schools and design and construction professionals. The ACE Mentor Program creates opportunities for architects, engineers, and construction managers to interact with interested high school students and encourage them to pursue careers in the construction industry through mentoring and scholarship awards.
In the ACE sessions, students meet with construction industry professionals who fulfill the role of mentors, guiding the students through the various facets of the design and construction process. The objective of the sessions is for the students to learn basic concepts about the planning and design of the built environment, to open their eyes to the world around them, and to prompt them to ask questions about things they see in buildings, on bridges and streets or elsewhere in their environment.
Beginning with just two schools, 40 students, and 32 mentors, the program has flourished into a highly-sought out program within Central Indiana. In 2020, we awarded $53,000.00 in scholarships for Indianapolis youth. In fifteen years, the ACE Mentor Program of Indiana has awarded more than $600,000 in scholarships to deserving Indianapolis-area students.
With the passing of Ridge Miller, ACE has lost a true friend and ardent champion. He dedicate more than 15 years of his life to ACE, playing vital leadership roles in affiliates as well as the national organization.
Ridge’s connection with ACE began in Nashville where he served as that ACE affiliate’s first treasurer. When his job took him to Indianapolis, he helped start a new affiliate there where he served on its board. In ACE’s national organization, Ridge served on the national board’s financial committee for many years and in 2017 became Treasurer of the board. His financial management skills helped secure ACE’s strong future.
To honor Ridge’s long-time volunteer service to ACE and his commitment to ACE’s mission of attracting high school students into the design and construction industry, ACE is creating the Ridge Miller Memorial Scholarship Fund. The scholarship will be presented to a promising student from the Indianapolis affiliate.
If you would like to donate to the fund, please click the donate button below. Please indicate in the note section, Ridge Miller.
Thank you for your support.
*Remember to put Ridge Miller in the note section.
ACE Mentor Program of Indiana, Inc. is a registered nonprofit 501(c)(3). Donations help pay for scholarships, field trips, and overall program administration. If you would like to make a monetary donation to the ACE Indianapolis program make checks payable to “ACE Mentor Program of Indiana” and mail it to Ben Ilnicki, ACE Mentor Program of Indiana, C/O Crowe LLP, 3815 River Crossing Parkway, Suite 300, Indianapolis , Indiana 46240-0977 or make an online donation through PayPal®. Contact Ben Ilnicki with questions or concerns.
If you’d like to experience ACE’s challenges, opportunities and rewards for yourself, just contact the ACE leader listed in the upper right-hand corner of this page.
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