SBM Staff Enjoy Mentoring Through ACE Program
By Laurie Fife Harbert
Scheeser Buckley Mayfield employees like to give back to their communities. A perfect example of this is four of our staff members, Melissa Haver, Lou Begue, Amy Harmon and Tyler Masters, participating in mentoring sessions with the ACE (Architecture, Construction, Engineering) Mentor Program of Greater Akron. Melissa and Lou also serve on the program committee, where they help organize ideas and challenges for the weekly meetings. Established as a non-profit, national organization in 2002, ACE’s roots go back to the founding affiliate in New York City in 1995. ACE currently mentors over 8,000 students in over 200 U.S. cities.
The ACE Mentor Program introduces high school students to the building field via working directly with professionals from area firms. The mentors volunteer their time at the sessions to discuss aspects of their careers and assist with hands-on projects which call upon the participants to solve design, engineering and construction challenges. A typical meeting could include discussion with an electrical engineer about lighting design where students get to pass around sample lighting fixtures, followed by a related design challenge where they solve a problem and meet a deadline. “Watching the students engaging in the activities and asking questions to learn about our industry is great. Many students have never had exposure to architecture, engineering or construction, so what better way to do that than hands-on experience,” said Melissa.
The effect the ACE programs have on students’ lives goes well beyond the weekly meetings. Mentors provide references and contacts for future employment, while the organization sponsors field trips and bestows annual scholarships. Participation encourages young people to pursue careers as engineers, interior designers, construction managers, landscape architects and more in the building fields. To learn more about the program, visit http://www.acementor.org/about-us/.