Rockefeller Group Holding Seven ACEs

When remote work mandates went into effect in March, there was no real precedent for such large-scale working from home,  or schooling from home, or attending industry conferences from your living room.  And there was certainly no precedent for completing the ACE Mentor Program virtually – connecting nearly 2,000 students from 300 schools with more than 750 industry professionals.

Thanks to the hard work of team leaders Rosemary Bates and Eric Selbst and their teams of Rockefeller Group mentors, there will be precedent for the 2020/2021 ACE Mentor Program for Greater New York (ACE GNY).

“In response to the Covid-19 outbreak, we shifted our program online mid-season, continuing ACE sessions virtually,” said John Pierce, Senior Vice President for Rockefeller Group who also serves as Chairperson for ACE GNY.  “The mentors went above and beyond to adjust to this transition, adapting and diligently supporting students through this time.”

What began in October 2019 when ACE GNY first introduced this cohort of students to the design and construction industry, culminated in these students learning ACE concepts virtually, utilizing design software, and developing valuable public speaking skills for future careers in architecture, engineering, construction and commercial real estate. Industry professionals, including seven Rockefeller Group Design & Construction members, volunteered their time as mentors to make it possible to reach a wide group of students, 79% of whom come from minority and under-served backgrounds.

Rockefeller Group’s mentors were divided into two teams: team leader Rosemary Bates was joined by Diane Cardoso and Andrew Maloney and team leader Eric Selbst was joined by Christopher Hunter, Kyle Shouldice and Peter Kolinsky.

These exceptional mentors navigated the virtual process with incredible commitment and patience by shifting lessons online utilizing Zoom, and ensuring that ACE concepts were understood. Rockefeller Group mentors volunteered more than 30 hours and mentored 15-30 high school students from New York City.

“I think the most incredible part of all of this as I watched Rosemary and Eric navigate through the process was that they were able to maintain student engagement and make the process as beneficial and fun as if they were all sitting in a room together,” said John. “In addition to ensuring virtual sessions went smoothly, our teams made it possible for students to complete their final projects and present their work with ease during virtual final presentations in May.”

Of this cohort, 60% of scholarships awarded were to female recipients, a steep increase over last year; 36% of the ACE GNY scholarship recipients will also be the first in their family to attend college.

As a leader in the Greater NY Chapter of ACE, Eric Selbst has been asked to and has already begun working on a curriculum model for virtual programming for the 2020/2021 ACE Program.

“On behalf of everyone at Rockefeller Group, I would like to thank Rosemary, Eric, Diane, Andrew, Chris, Kyle and Peter for the time and commitment that they gave to ACE students and for demonstrating Rockefeller Group values in the community,” said John.

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