New Jersey

About Us

The ACE Mentor Program of New Jersey is the third oldest affiliate in the country, starting in 1999 with two teams in Newark. This year we are excited to be celebrating our 25th year of engaging, exciting, and enlightening high school students in the building and design industry. The 2023-2024 program year included students participating on teams in Hightstown, Hudson County School of Technology, Middlesex, and Newark (2 teams). Interested mentors and mentoring firms should contact ACE New Jersey to learn more about how you can become a volunteer/supporter for a team in your area.

Each of the teams follows the same model:

– Mentors from architectural, construction management, and engineering firms meet with teams of 10-20 students fifteen times after school between October and April.

– At these sessions, students learn what architects, construction managers, and engineers do from mentor presentations and hands-on activities

– The sessions are “project driven” and just as would happen in a real world design/construction project, all members of the team participate in developing the project

– Other “real world” activities include field trips to construction sites and apprenticeship facilities.

– At the end of the ACE season, all our teams are brought together at a final presentations night and given the opportunity to “present” their projects

– The program year culminates with a fund-raising and award dinner in June. During the event scholarships are awarded to deserving graduates of the program. Additionally, awards are given to industry professionals for their work in New Jersey in the building and design industry.

Group picture: ACE NJ Board Chair, Cristina Martinez, Family of John Woodman, Ed Rytter, former ACE NJ Chair, John Woodman Scholarship Awardee, Rishigaanesh Balajirajah, and ACE NJ Education Committee Chair, Dexter Hendricks

John Woodman, served as Executive Director of ACE NJ
John Woodman

25th Anniversary John Woodman Memorial Scholarship This scholarship honors John Woodman’s enduring legacy and ACE NJ’s 25th anniversary. John served as Executive Director of ACE NJ for over a decade and volunteered beyond that. He was instrumental in everything ACE NJ accomplished and worked tirelessly for our students. John began working with ACE in the Spring of 1998 when ACE had only eight teams in the NYC area. He worked closely with the founders of ACE NJ to establish teams in Newark and beyond, further supporting ACE National in forming several other early affiliates. He brought his skills and experience as a former high school principal and applied them enthusiastically to help ACE grow. ACE Mentor Program, and ACE NJ specifically, owes John a tremendous debt. He will be deeply missed.

Note: Since we began awarding scholarships in June of 2000, ACE New Jersey has awarded close to $600,000 in scholarships to more than 400 deserving graduates of the program.

Arjun Dave
JP Stevens High School

Rishigaanesh Balajirajah
JP Stevens High School

Kavya Murthy
Hightstown High School

View more about our 2024 scholarship awardees here.

Become a supporter of ACE New Jersey Today


Dinah Jordan
Affiliate Director
PO Box 200082
Newark, NJ 07102

M. Cristina Martinez
Board President

Mentoring Firms, Sponsors, Supporters

Thanks to our many mentors and sponsors who have helped us this past year in making our affiliate such a success.
View our list of mentoring firms.
View our list of sponsors and supporters.

Board of Directors

Our board is comprised of 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!