Durham, NH On April 22, 2020, the ACE Mentor Program of New Hampshire along with ACE National held a zoom meeting to surprise Oyster River student, Caleb Chinburg with an Allen D. Berg CMiC Memorial Scholarship. Chinburg received a $20,000 scholarship over four years toward his post-secondary education and training in civil engineering.
The scholarship competition was highly competitive. From among 10,000 students nationwide, each of ACE’s over 70 affiliates could nominate two students. Nominees went through a two-stage review process assessing their merit and financial need.
Chinburg responded with excitement, “It is truly an honor to be recognized for my achievements and to represent ACE in my future in this industry. It’s very special to also have your promise of support as I go forward with my studies in engineering. I came away from our meeting feeling the reassurance and encouragement from all of you at ACE. Not only does this scholarship help me financially, but this community supports my dreams and progress in my career. I can’t thank you enough.”
ACE NH chair Stacy Clark and vice chair Brian Knox agreed, “We have poured our heart and soul into ACE NH over the past 3+ years and seeing one of our participants receive this scholarship makes it all worth it. It is such a great opportunity to get the next generation interested in our industry.”
Chinburg has officially committed to UNH CEPS for Civil Engineering and plans to do the accelerated Masters program in Structural Engineering. Today more than 44 million Americans have outstanding student loan debt, which has become one of the biggest consumer debt categories. All told, student debt in the U.S. now totals more than $1.5 trillion.
Typically, trade schools cost substantially less than traditional colleges, and many students graduate with less debt than those who pursued their education through a college or university.
CMiC, a long-time national ACE sponsor, and the family of the company’s late founder Allen Berg, underwrite the scholarship program honoring Mr. Berg’s legacy of support for education, mentoring, career counselling in the design and construction industry. The CMiC – Allen Berg Memorial Scholarships are multi-year awards aimed at talented, deserving ACE high school seniors intending to pursue post-secondary education and training leading to careers in architecture, engineering, construction or the skilled crafts. In 2019, the first year of the scholarship program, 25 students from 19 states received a total of $400K in scholarships, varying in amounts between $10K and $40K, depending upon need. The 2020 scholarship program incorporates major and minor modifications based on feedback from affiliates after the program’s first year of operation.
ACE Mentor Program of New Hampshire launched its pilot program at Oyster River High School in Durham in 2019 and this year included a second year program at Oyster River which included students from Winnacunnet High School and another program was started in the Manchester school district with Memorial High School and the Manchester School of Technology. The ACE Mentor Program is a national not-for-profit 501(c)3 and free after school program. Their mission is to engage, excite, and enlighten high school students to pursue careers in Architecture, Construction, and Engineering (ACE) through mentoring and to support their continued advancement in the industry. Last year the Oyster River High School students embarked on a two-month project where they learned hands-on, real life skills associated with ACE fields as they relate to the Moharimet Elementary School renovation project and this year’s project was focused on a new or renovation auditorium project.
The ACE board and mentors are made up of a group of industry professionals who believe in mentoring students to give them a real worldview of what goes into a construction project and inspire them to further pursue a career in one of the ACE related fields. At the end of each ACE NH Program, there are typically student presentations held (cancelled this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic) and a local ACE NH sponsored scholarship awarded to one deserving senior enrolled in the program.
Chinburg agrees “Of all of the things that I have learned from the ACE Mentor Program, the most significant has been the importance of working together. Nothing in the construction industry can be accomplished without relying on others, and I feel that throughout my time in the program and now through this scholarship I have truly been welcomed into the ACE community. I look forward to paying this forward over the years to other students interested in the industry.”
The ACE Mentor Board of New Hampshire is currently seeking sponsors, scholarships, and mentors in order to branch out and make additional school programs a reality around the State of NH. If you are interested in learning more about the program and how you can get involved as a mentor, sponsor or to donate, visit www.acementor.org or reach out to [email protected].
Founded in 2018, the ACE Mentor Program of New Hampshire is one of over 70 affiliates in the nationwide ACE (Architecture, Construction, and Engineering) program. It annually engages 10,000 high school students in a free afterschool program lasting 15 sessions. Volunteer industry professionals mentor students and lead them through a hands-on simulation of designing and constructing a project. Since its start in 1994, ACE has awarded more than $20 million in scholarships to help its students with post-secondary education and skilled crafts training.
ACE is supported at the national and local levels by major companies in the integrated construction industry. For more information visit www.acementor.org