Hawks Fly With ACE Chicago Mentor Program

Hawks Fly With ACE Chicago Mentor Program
By: Janice Neauman, Daily Southtown

A special mentoring program geared toward minorities, women and low-income populations gave 10 Hillcrest High School students a vision for the future.

The Architecture, Construction, Engineering Chicago Mentor Program offered a first-hand look at working in those fields to the students from the Country Club Hills school. They met with other students from across the Chicago area, first in person and later virtually during the 15-week program, working on teams with guidance from mentors.

“The biggest thing that I enjoyed from the program would have to be the exposure and connection made with the mentors who actually worked within the field,” said Bryan Ingram, a senior.

Ingram already knew he was interested in engineering and plans to work in the information technology field. But he said the program helped with other important skills.

“The program allowed me to improve my skills in communication and problem solving,” Ingram said.

He was earned an internship at Walsh Construction, shadowing a construction manager and learning about building construction.

He and his fellow students, Da’Veonna Campbell, Viviana Horta, Jaden Houston and Bobby Jones, took first place in the program’s Chicago competition and second place at the national competition for their gastronomic center project, focusing on food venues and culture. Campbell received a $1,000 scholarship, Horta a $1,500 scholarship and Ingram the prestigious internship.

The experience helped Horta decide on interior architecture as a career. She will use her scholarship for a seven-week virtual program at the Illinois Institute of Technology.

He and his fellow students, Da’Veonna Campbell, Viviana Horta, Jaden Houston and Bobby Jones, took first place in the program’s Chicago competition and second place at the national competition for their gastronomic center project, focusing on food venues and culture. Campbell received a $1,000 scholarship, Horta a $1,500 scholarship and Ingram the prestigious internship.

The experience helped Horta decide on interior architecture as a career. She will use her scholarship for a seven-week virtual program at the Illinois Institute of Technology.

Houston, who will start at Loras College in Iowa in the fall, said the program’s benefits led him to do it for two years. He plans to major in sports management but said the mentoring program taught him needed career skills. He also appreciated the close-knit atmosphere.

“I liked how when you got there it was like a second family,” said Houston. “The mentors always made sure you were OK and didn’t make you feel left out.”

ACE executive director Krisann Rehbein said the program helped students explore careers and learn from professionals.

“I think it’s a really critical opportunity to get a professional mentorship and do real workplace based career exploration for teenagers at a critical point in their academic life, when they’re trying to figure out what they want to do,” said Rehbein.

But she also said the students were a benefit to these professions.

“We’re finding tons of talented students every year who are from diverse racial and economic backgrounds who are interested in this industry and finding their place in it,” said Rehbein.

Other south and southwest suburban schools participating include Bloom Township High School, Evergreen Park High School, Homewood Flossmoor High School and Oak Forest High School.
Website by SchoolMessenger Presence. © 2020 Intrado Corporation. All rights reserved.