About Us

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 2021, we awarded $53,000.00 in scholarships for Indianapolis youth. In sixteen years, the ACE Mentor Program of Indiana has awarded more than $650,000 in scholarships to deserving Indianapolis-area students.

Ridge Miller Memorial Scholarship Fund

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.

Donate to ACE Indianapolis

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.


Akilah W. Darden, MBA LEED BD+C

The Darden Group, LLC
(317) 385-8954


ACE Mentor Indianapolis President makes the News!
Read Full Story

Architecture Student Hopes to Make Her Passion a Career
Read Full Story


Student Member Online Registration

New Mentor/Volunteer Online Registration

Support ACE – Sponsorship Form

2021 Scholarship Recipients

Twenty students were awarded a combined $53,000 in scholarships.
View the list of winners.


Thanks to our 46 mentors, representing 31 companies, who have helped us this past year in making our affiliate such a success.
View our Mentors.

Board of Directors

Our board is comprised of twenty-two local industry leaders who make a significant contribution to our affiliate. We are grateful for their continuing support.
View our board members.

Participate in ACE!

If you’d like to experience ACE’s challenges, opportunities and rewards for yourself, contact us today!