Southeast Venture Design Team Mentors Future Architects and Engineers
The Southeast Venture design team isn’t just providing top-notch work to their clients, they’re also helping to teach and inspire the next generation of architects, construction workers and engineers (ACE) as part of the ACE Mentorship Program.
The program allows high school students to interact with and learn from professionals in each of the ACE industries, with the goal of helping the students take steps toward a career in one of these industries. The professionals volunteer to mentor a team of students.
Southeast venture designers Jacqueline Sanchez and Nicole Robertson work with Team 10 from John Overton High School. Every two weeks, all the team mentors meet at the school with the students and the team teacher, John Marshall, to do hands-on demonstrations and activities and discuss topics related to the ACE fields, including what “a day in the life” looks like for each profession. The mentors also have the opportunity to take the students to on-site and office visits.
“To me, the best part of being an ACE mentor is seeing a student’s face light up when they realize that they have all that potential and talent inside of them,” said Sanchez. “All they need is someone to believe in them, share knowledge with them and motivate them to put those lessons into practice.”
Since this year’s theme is “Transformation,” our design team decided to take the students to Silo Studios, a warehouse renovation that is a part of the Silo Bend development. Nathan Narwold, the project manager for this Silo Studios project, led about 12 students on a tour of the site.
Formerly a lumber mill, Silo Studios is being renovated to become office and retail spaces. On the tour, the students learned how construction projects work – how they go from ideas to plans to construction. We walked them through the building and the site, and we showed them some of the design features of the building, explaining the purpose of each one.
The goal was to show the students that anything can be transformed, from a building to a community. They were able to see what the Silo Bend development brought to The Nations community as a whole.
In the spring, each student is expected to complete a final project detailing their main takeaways from the program, and our team of students will be focusing their projects on Silo Bend and The Nations communities. The students will present their projects at a banquet with approximately 500 peers, parents, mentors, educators and community leaders in attendance. Students who complete the program and the accompanying project have the opportunity to apply for college scholarships to further their studies in these fields.
“Being an ACE mentor is giving me the opportunity to help students discover their passions and shape their futures. It’s exciting to see them working towards their goals and getting a head start on their careers,” Robertson said. “It’s very rewarding for me personally to see these students problem solving, finding new solutions and discovering what aspects of the process they like and dislike before they hit the professional world.”