January 20, 2019

ACE Mentor Program

Founded in 1994, the ACE name stands for Architecture, Construction and Engineering.  The program stands for mentoring high school students and inspiring them to pursue careers in construction and design and is the industry's most respected high school mentoring program, with tens of thousands students nationwide - and growing.

Targeting high school students for over 20 years, the ACE Mentor Program reaches students in 200 cities annually as they start to explore career options. Almost 40k students and over 9k mentors have participate in ACE to date.  Unlike any other free after school program, ACE introduces high school students to the full process of designing and building a project and to all facets of the integrated design and construction industry. Learning valuable skills that they repeatedly report gives them an edge over their college colleagues. According to recent surveys 7 out of 10 ACE seniors take steps to pursue industry careers. Many of who have been recipients for over $14 million in scholarships awarded by ACE affiliates since its inception.

The participation in Iowa has been impressive for the last 11 years. As of 2016 Iowa has engaged a combined 215 mentors that have given of their time and expertise to the ACE Mentor Program students. Even more impressive is the combined number of students, 887 students in Iowa have participated in the ACE Mentor Program.

Completing its 11th year, the Central Iowa ACE affiliate has grown from one school to 12 schools, and has awarded over $300,000 in scholarships. This affiliate has gained wide support by the leading A-E-C firms and local STEM initiatives. Three teams from Central Iowa have been selected as CIRT (Construction Industry Roundtable) national competition finalists, with the 2013 team taking the top prize.

The ACE Mentor Program of Eastern Iowa officially formed an affiliate in 2014 with unprecedented first year successes. With community and local school support, the students designed a real-life project of a STEM Community Center to be built at one of the local high schools. Over $250,000 was raised to make this project a reality last summer with the help of many local firms and the Home Builders Association of Eastern Iowa. ACE students were awarded Kirkwood college credits to assist in bringing this project to reality August of 2015.

Call for Mentors

The ACE Mentor Program is driven by the committed and enthusiastic participation of volunteer mentors who are practicing professionals in their respective fields.  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.  If you have what it takes, the ACE Mentor Program of Iowa can use your help!

To learn more about volunteering for the ACE Mentor Porgram of Central Iowa, please contact Josh Ridgley at

To learn more about volunteering for the ACE Mentor Program of Eastern Iowa, please contact Joe Greathouse at

Interested in starting an affiliate in your community?  Contact Monica Worheide, Director - Central States Regional Programs, for more details on starting an ACE Mentor affiliate at