Mentors must register every year
Mentorship is a responsibility we all experience at many points in our personal and professional lives. Being an ACE Mentor means serving as a role model and providing guidance and advice to young people. ACE Mentors share their professional experience with high school students and advise them as to how to accomplish the education needed to move from high school, into and through college, or into an apprenticeship or internship, ultimately leading to a career in the construction industry.
The Ace Mentoring curriculum includes instruction as much as mentorship. We use group exercises and simple architectural design projects as a vehicle for discussion of the professions and trades that make up the work force of the construction industry. The ACE program also includes field trips to construction sites and presentations made by a variety of experts related to the ACE fields. While our students volunteer to come to our sessions, they still need thoughtful direction and enthusiastic prompting to accomplish our basic goal of introducing them to the career opportunities available in ACE.
Currently ACE RI operates three introductory programs for new students in grades 9 to 12, one offered at the downtown Providence facility of Roger Williams University on Washington St, one in Pawtucket at the Blackstone Academy Charter School, and one at the New England Institute of Technology in East Greenwich. In addition, an advanced curriculum for students who have experienced the introductory year is available for those who wish to continue on to a second or third year. For 2013-2014 we anticipate over 100 first year students and over 30 advanced students.
The ACE Curriculum Committee provides a comprehensive calendar of activities for the full 18 sessions that run from mid-October to mid-March. A detailed agenda is created for class sessions held on Wednesdays from 4:00-6:00 PM. Materials and supplies are provided for all students. Mentors work with 2 or 3 professional colleagues with teams of from 4 to 6 students. An experienced mentor is assigned as a Team Leader, and is responsible for taking attendance and distributing supplies for that day’s activities. Each Mentor/Student team stays together for the entire 18 weeks if possible. In this way a real mentorship atmosphere can be developed. Mentors are encouraged to connect to one or two students in their team and maintain contact with them via email concerning upcoming events, or homework assignments. Mentors are expected to spend a limited amount of time preparing for class sessions by reading the projects in advance and contacting the Curriculum Committee with any questions.
Just as Mentors have spent a day at work prior to the sessions, so too have the students spent a full day at school. As such, the program attempts to keep students engaged and excited about the various disciplines being discussed, and not load the session with detailed lectures. Only through Mentor enthusiasm is this possible.
Ace Mentor's come to the program with varied specialized knowledge about the integrated construction industry. Just as we work in our professions as a team, so too we work as a team with the students. Thus, Mentor teams are composed of a variety of experts, reflective of our professional work. Essentially, each Mentor brings their individual skills and experiences and commits to attending classes regularly, greeting students with enthusiasm, and being ready to assist in the exercises set up for the session. For its part, the Curriculum Committee works hard to prepare as much detailed information as possible in advance to assure that everyone is prepared.
Any success that the program has achieved is based on the dedication and enthusiasm of those Mentors who have taken seriously the opportunity to help shape the future for young people. Feedback, questions and suggestion are absolutely essential to the furtherance of our goals, and we encourage all to come forth with ways of improving the program. Those interested in shaping the future of the ACE program are enthusiastically encouraged to join the Committees to ensure a successful and ongoing effort.
All Mentors need to register online and pass a background check for insurance purposes. A mandatory “Mentor Orientation” will provide guidance as to how to interact appropriately and effectively with our students.
Below is an abstract of issues important for all mentors:
• An ACE Mentor musty never be alone with a student
• Never administer medication, or medical treatment to a student
• Do not give students any money, ever.
• Maintain Confidentiality
• Maintain a Positive relationship with each student
• Take time to talk, and get to know your students
• Show you are interested and LISTEN.
• Share some of your interests
• Praise when appropriate, direct and correct as needed.
• Start each session with a conversation.
• Relax and be patient.
• Remember, there are no Dumb Questions
• Remember that your students may not be native English speakers
• Do not assume that student understand everything you say…ask follow up questions.
• Avoid rapid fire questions
• Don’t force eye contact
• Louder is not better
• Take your time, stop talking once in a while and let student finish what they are saying.
• Ask open ended questions
• Don’t “One-up” anybody…all students ideas have value.
• Make sure all students have equal time…damp done the big mouth, pump up the quiet person.
• Always be enthusiastic and team-oriented.
Mentors make all the difference.
There is no substitute for experience — the ACE Mentor Program is driven by the committed and enthusiastic participation of volunteer mentors who are practicing professionals in their respective fields. ACE offers high school students the best opportunities because ACE offers the best industry mentors.
Who are ACE mentors?
In our experience, ACE mentors tend to be members of a local community in which an ACE affiliate is located. Clearly passionate about they do, they often make significant contributions to their communities as role models, trusted friends and career advisors.
What makes a great ACE mentor?
The right mix of knowledge, passion and rapport makes a great ACE mentor. Someone who connects with the students in a way that demonstrates a sincere desire to help, and a commitment to make a difference. ACE mentors are team players willing to dedicate up to 30 hours of their time during the school year.
How ACE mentors gain from the experience.
We hear again and again that ACE mentors experience a profound sense of altruistic "giving back" when involved with ACE and its young participants — the gratification that comes with sharing knowledge and wisdom with eager students. In addition, mentoring presents a variety of networking opportunities, as well as chances to sharpen individual presentation and other professional skills.
Talk to your ACE coordinator.
Mentors often come from organizations actively involved in some way with a local ACE affiliate. If you're part of such an organization and want to become a mentor, talk to your ACE coordinator. If your organization is not currently an ACE participant, and you'd like to become a mentor or volunteer, please fill out our online application.
All of our mentors undergo background checks. If you have any questions, please email our national office or call 703.942.8101.