The ACE Mentor Program of Central Iowa is wrapping up another successful 16 week program and will host a year-end ceremony today to recognize individual and team accomplishments. The event will take place this afternoon, Tuesday, March 7, from 4:30-6:30 at the FFA Enrichment Center, 2006 South Ankeny Blvd., Ankeny, IA.
The 2016-2017 program participants were asked to design, engineer and prepare construction schedules and estimates for a seasonal rental facility on the Principal River Walk located in downtown Des Moines. Each team will present their finished projects at the event in a manner similar to interactive professional trade shows during the event.
Of his nearly decade long experience as an ACE mentor, Neumann Brothers Project Manager / Shareholder Josh Braby said “I became interested in construction through a mentorship program when I was in 8th grade. Mentoring has been a passion of mine since becoming an industry professional and something I truly enjoy. I learn from these kids every week and get the honor of watching our future industry leaders at work.”
The public is encouraged to attend today’s ceremony and show support for the students’ hard work!
This year, in addition to the primary project, Josh and a team of 8 students from Team Northeast also designed an 8’ X 12’ tiny home.
“I’m always impressed and inspired by the talented kids in the Des Moines Metro. They’re given general project parameters and a lot of creative freedom to make the final product their own. I’m proud of every one of our mentors, school liaisons, students and I’m proud to be part of such a great program,” Josh said.
The team will construct their tiny home during a week-long camp this summer and donate the tiny home to Joppa Outreach to use in their planned tiny home community to provide homeless individuals and families with clean, safe housing.
ABOUT THE ACE MENTOR PROGRAM
The ACE Mentor Program is a nationwide program that introduces high school students to careers in architecture, engineering and construction (A/E/C) and connects them with local volunteer mentors in the industry. ACE began in New York in 1993 with 17 local firms volunteering their time and resources to help 90 high school students gain real-world experience in the three fields. Today ACE spans over 200 cities across the country, including three programs in Iowa.
The ACE Mentor Program of Central Iowa was established in 2005 and Neumann Brothers President & CEO Mike Simpson was one of the original board members. Neumann employees have volunteered their time as mentors, board members and jobsite tour leaders. The opportunity to give back to the community and demonstrate that the A/E/C industry is a thriving, fun and well-paying profession is rewarding and exciting.
What began with one team of 12 students has grown to include five teams from 14 metro-area high schools with additional programs in Cedar Rapids, Iowa City and Mason City. In 2012, the ACE Mentor Program of Central Iowa also started a competition team which was selected to compete in Washington DC three of the four previous years, finishing runner up twice and crowned national champions once. To date the ACE program has distributed over $125,000 in scholarships to students continuing their education in Architecture, Construction or Engineering.