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June 5, 2018
Allied News

ACE Mentor Program Announces $113K in Scholarships at 17th Annual Breakfast

By AGW Communications
2018 ACE Mentor Program Scholarship Recipients

The ACE Mentor Program of Eastern Pennsylvania hosted 380 members of the architecture, engineering, and construction communities Wednesday, May 23 at the Crystal Tea Room for an annual scholarship presentation and awards ceremony.

[Philadelphia, PA] The ACE Mentor Program of Eastern Pennsylvania announced $113,000 in scholarships at the organization’s 17th Annual Scholarship Breakfast, Wednesday, May 23 at the Crystal Tea Room in Philadelphia. Over 380 members of the design and construction community attended the celebration.

Nine students received ACE scholarships totaling $75,000. An additional $9,500 per year, four-year scholarship to attend Penn State University was presented by PSU Coordinator of Minority Programs and ACE board member Curt Marshall. Scholarships will enable students to continue their education in architecture, construction, and engineering fields.

“As our primary fundraiser, the annual scholarship breakfast directly supports our students,” said ACE Mentor Program Eastern Pennsylvania Affiliate Director Tiffany Millner, AIA, NOMA. “Every year at the breakfast, we focus on the program’s impact, with all remarks presented by ACE students and alumni. The event showcases their poise, talent, and drive for success in the integrated architecture, construction, and engineering industry.”

ACE alumni Rich Vilabrera of Stokes Architecture, LLC; William Bess, currently attending Penn State University; DeShaye Carter, currently attending Drexel University; Kayin Bankole, currently attending Syracuse University; Jennifer Yun of JKRP Architects, LLC; and Ajin Fatima, of the City of Philadelphia Streets Department, provided remarks about the impact of the ACE Mentor Program on their education and careers.

ACE also presented three awards recognizing significant impact on the Philadelphia region’s built environment:

2018 ACE Person of the Year: Douglas Carney of The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP). Carney was honored for his long involvement with ACE guiding students with his background in architecture, facilities management, and real estate development. Carney is Senior Vice President for Facilities, Real Estate, Design & Construction at CHOP. Currently, he sits on the Drexel Presidential Real Estate Advisory Council and Master Developer Selection Committee for the Schuylkill Yards District.

2018 Collaboration of the Year: Market Street Revitalization. Collaboration is at the core of the ACE industry. ACE honored PREIT, National Real Estate Development, and Brickstone for Fashion District Philadelphia, East Market, and The Lits Building. These collaborative projects will establish the region’s first metropolitan destination shopping experience with Class A offices, residential towers, parking and pedestrian improvements, and dramatic lighting and signage to transform Market Street East.

2018 Project of the Year: Mastery Charter Cramer Hill Elementary School. Built in 2017 in Camden, N.J., the school provides bilingual education for 745 K-8 students. The project features a state-of-the-art library and resource center, 3,000-sf green roof, and community rooms available for use by Camden residents. Mastery Charter earned recognition not only for its new school but also for its extensive ongoing partnership with ACE, including internship coordination and career development planning.

About the ACE Mentor Program
The ACE Mentor Program of Eastern Pennsylvania is the local affiliate of a national non-profit organization. An acronym for Architecture, Construction, and Engineering, ACE engages, excites, and enlightens high school students to consider or pursue careers in the integrated construction industry through mentoring, scholarships, and grants. Students are recruited from public and private high schools in greater Philadelphia, with special effort made to reach underrepresented populations of women and minorities. Under the mentorship of professionals from leading design and construction firms, teams of students work on a range of informative and stimulating after-school activities, including field trips to active construction sites, discussions with project managers, tours of professional offices, and more. In addition, each team works on a collaborative design project addressing “real-life” conditions. As the design and construction industry’s fastest-growing high school mentoring program, ACE reaches over 8,000 students annually. Nationally, over $12 million in scholarships have been awarded and countless young lives have been positively affected. For more information, visit

For academic year 2017-2018, the ACE Mentor Program Eastern Pennsylvania Affiliate has served 254 students and 56 schools in Philadelphia, Montgomery, and Chester Counties. Over 130 participating mentors represent 62 mentor companies. Please refer to attached infographic for more details. Mentors, sponsors, and attendees at the 2018 Scholarship Breakfast represented over 100 different companies in the region’s architecture, engineering, and construction community.

Photo courtesy of Justin Brugler | O’Donnell & Naccarato on behalf of the ACE Mentor Program.

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