As a proud participant and supporter of ACE Mentor Program of America, Inc. (ACE), Mortenson is excited to celebrate ACE’s fourth annual Day of Action on Friday, October 20, 2023. Established to raise awareness of the program and recruit new mentors and students, ACE Day of Action reflects Mortenson’s deep-rooted commitment to nurturing the next generation of architects, engineers, and construction professionals.
Jesus Avila, field engineer in Mortenson’s Chicago office, is a shining example of what’s possible when you connect caring industry mentors with ambitious high school students. Jesus participated in the ACE Mentor Chicago program during his junior and senior year at Bloom High School in Chicago Heights, IL. During his senior year, he was awarded an internship at Mortenson and was subsequently invited back to intern the next three summers while he attended the University of Illinois – Chicago. Prior to graduation, Jesus was offered a full-time job as a field engineer in Mortenson’s Chicago office. Now, Jesus is paying the experience forward as an ACE mentor.
Jesus is passionate about inspiring students to explore opportunities in the AEC industry, pointing out from personal experience that students from low-income schools like Bloom are typically less exposed to these types of career paths. As a first-generation American, he recalls his favorite part of ACE was showing his family what he had been working on for months. The program culminates with students presenting on a project they have taken from design conception to the construction planning phase. “My parents were always proud to see me and be part of it too,” he says, “These were things they never got to experience growing up. It meant a lot to me that they could be involved and see what I was achieving.”
Adriana Campa, project engineer and four-time ACE mentor in Mortenson’s Chicago office, was witness to Jesus’s entire journey through the program with Mortenson. “Being an ACE mentor has been so rewarding. Jesus’s success story is a real-life reflection of the profound impact being part of the program can have,” she says. “By sharing my experiences with these students, I can help prepare them to make a career decision that reflects their passions. It is fulfilling to see them realize their potential and I encourage others to get involved!”
Mortenson has a long-standing history with ACE, participating in and supporting mentorship opportunities both nationally and locally within our geographic operating regions. To learn more about the program and get involved with your local affiliate, visit ACE Mentor Program of America.