ACE Mentor Program of Greater Boston

Wakefield, MA   |  https://www.acegreaterboston.org/

Mission

To engage, excite and enlighten high school students to pursue careers in ARCHITECTURE, CONSTRUCTION, & ENGINEERING through mentoring, and to support their continued advancement in the industry

Ruling year info

2006

President

Mr Michael Harris

Co Principal Officer

Jennifer Fries

Main address

1 Pleasure Island Rd Ste 2a

Wakefield, MA 01880 USA

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Formerly known as

ACE Mentor Program of Massachusetts

EIN

26-4075224

NTEE code info

Business, Youth Development (O53)

Employment Training (J22)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

The building industry has been important to the growth and stability of Boston’s economy, and a primary source of income for families. Nationally, post-secondary graduates with architecture, construction and engineering degrees are well compensated, with an average salary of $85K. With that said, these industries are among the least diverse, by both gender and race. For example, of nation-wide construction management graduates, 77% of them identify as white, and 88% are men. By contrast, 77% of ACE students are people of color, and 35% are girls. ACE Greater Boston seeks to introduce those students to these exciting careers, prepare them for college study in those fields via project-based learning and mentorship, and support students in their advancement in the industries.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

ACE Mentor Program of Greater Boston

ACE is a free program for high school students to learn about careers in architecture, construction, and engineering. ACE Mentor Program of Greater Boston is an affiliate of ACE Mentor Program of America.

ACE Mentor students design project with their mentors and have the opportunity to earn scholarships for college studies in the A/C/E fields (or trade school). For the 2020-2021 school year, ACE will operate remotely, with online meetings, for public health.

Population(s) Served
Adolescents

Where we work

Awards

ACE-ENR Outstanding Mentor: Casey Williams 2018

ACE Mentor of America

Affiliations & memberships

ACE-ENR Mentor of the Year: Casey Williams 2018

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of students completing the full year program

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adolescents, People of African descent, People of Latin American descent, People of Asian descent, Economically disadvantaged people

Related Program

ACE Mentor Program of Greater Boston

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

The 2021 school year was anomalous because we were one of the few programs that immediately offered a remote option for COVID, and our numbers soared.

Total dollar amount of scholarship awarded

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Young adults, Students

Related Program

ACE Mentor Program of Greater Boston

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

ACE Mentor of Greater Boston raises funds from local A/C/E firms and awards scholarships to our graduating high school seniors enrolling in college, university, and trade school for these majors.

Number of clients placed in internships

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adolescents

Related Program

ACE Mentor Program of Greater Boston

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

ACE Greater Boston works to increase racial and gender diversity in the professions of architecture, construction, and engineering and to open doors for low-income students. ACE engages, excites, and enlightens high school students about opportunities in these fields; provides them with a free after-school program that includes hands-on design experience; fosters strong relationships with trusted mentors; and provides internship and scholarship opportunities.

ACE Mentor Program of Greater Boston (ACE), an affiliate of ACE Mentor Program of America, was founded in 2007. Last year, 97 students completed our free after school programs at five sites, and we awarded college scholarships to 31 graduating seniors totaling $152,000. The students come from local schools, with the majority coming from Boston Public Schools. 83% of the students are people of color (35% Black/African-American, 18% Hispanic, 24% Asian, 2% biracial/multiracial, 6% other, 16% white). 38% are female. In 2018, ACE National started asking whether a student is eligible for free lunch, which is a marker for families living in poverty or just above the poverty line. Among ACE of Greater Boston students who answered the question since then, 68% were income-eligible for free lunch (101/149). Other diversity measures include: 94% of ACE students attend public high schools or charter schools, with 55% attending Boston Public Schools.

Nationally, ACE alumni students report that the program prepared them for their studies and to enter the field. Despite being more likely to be low-income, ACE students persist in engineering and architecture college majors at a higher rate than their peers (86% versus 59% who begin declaring in those majors graduating with degrees).
Local data also reflects the national survey data. In a recent national survey of ACE alumni, 94% of the alumni of the ACE Mentor Program of Greater Boston felt that participating in the program left them better prepared than their peers for college studies. 41% of alumni have been in regular or occasional contact with their mentors after they graduated high school.

Nationally, the percentages of African-American and Hispanic ACE alumni entering college as architecture and engineering majors and of female engineer majors is double the national rates. While nationally only 18% of students starting college in mechanical, electrical, or civil engineering are women, 32% of ACE students entering college in those fields are women. Similarly, only 12% overall of first-year college students studying in those fields are Hispanic, compared with 25% of ACE students entering college to study in those fields. The figures for African-American and Black students are 6% overall versus 17% of ACE seniors.

ACE Greater Boston hopes to bring this award-winning mentorship program to more students and to add key components to support their success.

ACE Greater Boston is currently undergoing a strategic planning process. Our board has adopted our four major goals for the next three years:
1 - Diversify and increase fundraising
ACE has a successful annual event, which was virtual this year, which raises approximately $200,000 for scholarships annually. We also have received our first grant funding from the Cummings Foundation in 2019 and 2020. We intend to expand and diversify our fundraising efforts through an individual donor annual appeal, a major donor program, and grants writing, while redoubling efforts for event fundraising.
2 - Sustainable growth
ACE intends to increase the numbers of students, mentors, funding, and program sites in a sustainable manner.
3 - Create an alumni network and engagement program
ACE will work to ensure that our alumni, who are currently ages 18-30, can continue to benefit from mentorship and receive support in their career development.
4 - Board and mentor diversification (racial & gender)
ACE Greater Boston will work to create a board and mentor pool that reflects the students we serve.

We have drafted measures of success and action steps for each of these goals, and the committee is currently working with the chairs of the various board subcommittees to further break these goals into actionable subaction steps for implementation. The full plan will be adopted in March 2021 and will guide our work for the following 3 years.

ACE Greater Boston has a strong, working Board of Directors that is committed to our students and to the program viability. The Board draws from architecture, construction, and engineering firms around the Greater Boston area, including Boylston Properties, Turner Construction Company, Shawmut; SMMA, SGH, Consigli, Limbach, Gilbane, Activitas, Gensler, Perkins + Will, Finegold Alexander, EM Duggan, Cranshaw, DPR Contraction, and more. The Board’s active committees include strategic planning; program, curriculum, and operations (now adding virtual learning); student outreach; finance and audit; fundraising; marketing; mentor; alumni; and scholarships. ACE also has our first staff person, Executive Director Jennifer Fries, hired in December 2019. Fries brings extensive experience in non-profit management, fundraising, and youth programming. She earned her Master in Public Administration degree from the Harvard Kennedy School, and she has more than 25 years of experience in the field.

ACE Greater Boston's resiliency and capacity is shown by our response to COVID:
1 - Program - The organization convened its programming and school outreach committees to re-design the program and student recruitment during the summer of 2020, shifting to a remote learning model. More students registered than ever before, including cohorts from Chelsea and Worcester who had previously been shut out due to the lack of a program site in their cities. Currently, ACE has more than 170 students attending, split into five remote teams. We are mailing packages of tools and supplies home to students, a major effort that ensures that students are not hampered by their inability to buy these items, and that all students can do hands-on learning.
2- ACE Greater Boston also pivoted to an online fundraising campaign when our May 2020 event was canceled. The campaign raised $198,000 through a dedicated team of volunteer fundraisers and secure online giving platform.

Our fundraising and student recruitment success this year were the result of strategic, dedicated effort by a team of volunteers, and the support of our one staff person, the Executive Director. ACE's volunteers believe strongly in our mission, and most of them have served as mentors themselves. We are well-positioned to succeed in our strategic plan and thus to help more students to fulfill their capacity and their dreams for careers in these fields.

* Since ACE Greater Boston (ACE) was founded in 2007, we have awarded more than $915,000 in college scholarships to more than 167 graduates of our program.
* Several ACE Greater Boston mentors have won accolades from the national organization, ACE Mentor Program of America, as top mentors nationwide.
* In total, 281 seniors have graduated from the program.
* The program has grown from one site to five sites.
* We have hired our first Executive Director.
* ACE re-designed the program for remote learning due to COVID and had 130 students complete the program remotely in the 2020-2021 school year.
* ACE raised $198,000 through a virtual fundraising campaign for scholarships for the class of 2021, after our May 2020 fundraising event was canceled.
* ACE achieved most of its goals from its 2018 strategic plan and is currently implementing a new strategic plan for 2021-2023.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • Who are the people you serve with your mission?

    We serve high school students in our core program, and college students through our scholarship program. We also have a new alumni program.

  • How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

    SMS text surveys, Electronic surveys (by email, tablet, etc.), Focus groups or interviews (by phone or in person), Case management notes, Community meetings/Town halls, Constituent (client or resident, etc.) advisory committees,

  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals,

  • What significant change resulted from feedback?

    After surveying our alumni, we decided to change the meeting time for the alumni committee from an early-morning time (preferred by our mentors) to an early-evening time (preferred by our alumni).

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    The people we serve, Our staff, Our board, Our funders, Our community partners,

  • How has asking for feedback from the people you serve changed your relationship?

    We have adapted our programming to respond to student feedback about the most engaging segments.

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, We take steps to get feedback from marginalized or under-represented people, We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We look for patterns in feedback based on demographics (e.g., race, age, gender, etc.), We look for patterns in feedback based on people’s interactions with us (e.g., site, frequency of service, etc.), We engage the people who provide feedback in looking for ways we can improve in response, We act on the feedback we receive, We tell the people who gave us feedback how we acted on their feedback, We ask the people who gave us feedback how well they think we responded,

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    We don't have any major challenges to collecting feedback,

Financials

ACE Mentor Program of Greater Boston
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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ACE Mentor Program of Greater Boston

Board of directors
as of 09/22/2022
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Mr Michael Harris

National Development

Term: 2022 - 2023

Casey Williams

Simpson Gumpertz & Heger

Alejandro Miranda

Boylston Properties

Alison Stanton

Turner Construction

Bill Pisani

Shawmut

Brian Postlewaite

City of Somerville

Brian Lawlor

SMMA

Brooke Quinn

SGH

Chris Previte

EJ Callahan and Associates

Maitane Sesma

Consigli

Elena Farjado

Turner

Erik Miller

Wentworth Institute of Technology

Holly Ganser

Borrego Solar

Jennifer Williams

Perkins + Will

Mike Harris

National Development

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? No
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? No
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 9/22/2022

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Male, Not transgender (cisgender)

The organization's co-leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender (cisgender)

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data

Equity strategies

Last updated: 01/27/2022

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

Data
  • We analyze disaggregated data and root causes of race disparities that impact the organization's programs, portfolios, and the populations served.
  • We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
  • We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.
Policies and processes
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.