Sponsors, Educators, Mentors and Supporters of ACE Mentor Houston, which provides guidance and assistance for students interested in careers in the Architecture, Construction and Engineering industry throughout the school year, came together last month to celebrate the program's success and acknowledge mentors and sponsors. The following was provided by Angela Cotie of Gilbane Building, who serves as ACE Mentor Houston’s Chairman.
Construction, Architecture, and Engineering professionals from the greater Houston area gathered on February 24 to celebrate the charity’s growth and success this school year for the Building Blocks Breakfast. The ACE Mentor Houston’s annual breakfast was host to over 85 guests – including sponsors, mentors, family, friends, and educators – where the announcement of the “Mentor of the Year,” “Rookie Mentor of the Year” and Winner of the “Carrie Arnold-Gutierrez Leadership Award” as well as a State of ACE announcement and panelist discussion took place.
The winners of the coveted awards are as follows:
Rookie Mentor of the Year: Tarek Ayoubi, Principal at Walter P Moore Associates, Inc.
Mentor of the Year: Joseph Greco at Woodhouse Day Spa
Carrie Arnold-Gutierrez Leadership Award: Carrie Arnold-Gutierrez, formally of the Bechtel Corporation, Houston.
“The intent of the breakfast is to celebrate the mentors who are giving back to the students in our city,” stated Angela Cotie, ACE Mentor Houston Chairman. “We have over 100 mentors serving over 300 students, and there are never enough ways to celebrate their hard work, their dedication and passion for what we do.”
In conjunction with the awards, there was a panel discussion concerning the impact “Generation Y” is having on the Architecture, Construction and Engineering industries. Speakers included:
- Dilip Choudhuri, CEO at Walter P Moore,
- Gerald Gehm, Managing Director at Gensler
- James Springer, Southwestern Region District Manager at Gilbane Building Company
Highlighted at the event was a young man that was the very first ACE Mentor Houston Scholarship recipient, Mr. Pedro Gonzalez. After receiving his scholarship from ACE Mentor Houston and graduating high school, he went on to the University of Houston to pursue a degree in Engineering. He celebrated his graduation in December, and is now working for LJA Engineering. The entire room erupted in applause when hearing that he continued to pursue his passion, completed school, and that ACE hopes to encourage him to be a mentor in the future.
Over thirty local architecture, engineering and construction firms provided more than 100 volunteers to mentor the students throughout the school year. Currently over 300 students are enrolled in the mentoring program at 7 different locations throughout Houston. A selection of participating and sponsoring companies include:
- Bechtel Corporation
- Walter P Moore Associates
- Gilbane Building Company
- Pinnacle Structural Engineers
- Turner Construction
- Constello, Inc
- Benchmark Houston
- HOAR Construction
- All Phase
- American Marble Mosaic
- Kenmor Electric
- Lakey Electric, Inc.
- Treadwell Electric
- Getz & Associates, LLP
- I.A. Naman + Associates, Inc.
- Shah Smith
- Triangle, and
About the ACE Mentor Program
The Houston ACE Mentor Program is an affiliate of the ACE Mentor Program of America. The ACE Mentor Program was founded in 1995 by the principals of leading design and construction firms. Its mission is to engage, excite and enlighten high school students to careers in the integrated construction industry through mentoring – and also provide a means for their continued advancement in the industry through scholarships and grants. ACE’s 72 affiliates in 36 states organize 1,800 volunteer mentors to deliver the program to 8,000 students. Since its founding, ACE has awarded $10.5 million in scholarships.