Mentors Firms and Sponsors
1223 Mineral Spring Avenue
North Providence, RI 02904
Students, Parents, and Teachers
Jim Barnes, AIA
Professor of Architecture
Rhode Island School of Design
The Mission of the ACE-RI Mentor Program is to engage, excite and enlighten high school students to pursue careers in architecture, engineering and construction through mentoring and to support their continued advancement in the industry. The program is especially concerned with reaching those communities that are underrepresented in ACE industries. ACE-RI hopes to engage students that do not have the guidance and support necessary for them to uncover opportunities for their future.
ACE-RI is an affiliate of the ACE Mentor Program of America, a national mentoring program which represents a unique partnership among industry professionals that includes architects, engineers, construction managers, teachers, and other professionals who work together to attract young people to ACE careers. ACE professionals volunteer to “Mentor” to high school students in weekly after-school programs. The objective of the ACE-RI program is to introduce young people to ACE careers and to encourage them to pursue further education and a future in the design and construction industry.
The ACE-RI Mentor Program has been in existence since 2003 and has served over 1000 students from area high schools. Currently ACE-RI oversees five introductory programs for students in grades 9 to 12: Providence at RISD, Pawtucket at the Blackstone Academy Charter School, East Greenwich at the New England Institute of Technology, The Met School in Providence, and an independent program operated by the AGC of MASS at Blackstone Valley Regional Vocational Technical High School in Upton MA.
Students entering the program for the first time experience a wide range of hands-on activities reflecting the work of ACE professionals. For those students wishing to continue a second, third, or even fourth year an advanced curriculum is available. Students returning for additional years work in teams to compete in a national design challenge. In 2012 and again in 2014, advanced students for ACE-RI placed 3rd in this national competition and were awarded scholarships and a visit to Washington, DC.
A detailed agenda is created for 18, once-a-week, after-school mentoring sessions from mid-October to mid-March. Materials, supplies and snacks are provided for all students free of charge. Students work in teams with Mentors on projects which require critical thinking and imagination, and skills vital to the new “STEAM” approach to learning (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics). Activities include hands-on work on models and drawing as well computer aided design and drawing. Visits to professional’s offices, construction sites and a university that offers ACE college degrees are included. Students can apply for job shadowing opportunities and seek internships though their Mentors.
ACE-RI has awarded over $150,000 in scholarships to deserving students who complete at least one year of the program and go on to study in an ACE related discipline. In 2019 six students received awards of from $2000 to $4000. In the spring of 2019 ACE-RI student was awarded a $40,000 scholarship from the CMiC Berg Scholarship Fund. As much as $15,000 in scholarships are awarded by ACE-RI each spring at the annual ACE-Industry fundraising breakfast. All students and their families are invited to attend this celebratory event free of charge.
Mentors come from the greater Rhode Island design and construction industry. Since its inception ACE-RI has engaged over 200 professionals as mentors. They bring to the program specialized knowledge about the construction industry. ACE Mentors serve as role models and provide guidance and advice. Mentors share their professional experiences and insights and provide information regarding the education required to move from high school into and through college or university, apprenticeships or internships. All Mentors undergo a background check and are fully insured.
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