02 Jul 2020

Dear Parents, Prospective Parents, Students & Prospective Students:


On behalf of the ACE Mentor Program – RDU Affiliate Board of Directors, Associate Board of Directors and all our mentors, I am writing to provide a brief update on where we are as a national and local organization.  This coming year will be our 15th year here in the Triangle as a local affiliate of the ACE Mentor Program whose objective is to engage students and educate them about the fields of architecture, construction and engineering (ACE).  The program has been a success with many of our past students now working in ACE or ACE related fields.


Currently our country is involved in both a serious pandemic as well as social unrest with regards to equality for all people who call this great country home.  To that end, we as both a national and local organization need to be involved in both areas evaluating how we are going to move forward for the 2020-2021 school year.


First the pandemic.  It appears that the spread of COVID-19 is not slowing down, if anything it is growing.  For this reason, we are looking at starting the 2020-2021 program using a virtual platform.  Obviously, this is going to be quite different than working as “in person” teams with the students and mentors meeting at sites across the Triangle.  However, between our local affiliate and our national parent organization, we are working on some tools and programs that will still allow our students to learn about the ACE fields while working from their homes or wherever they have access a computer.  There will be more information and details on this during the month of July, so please check our local website for this additional information.  www.acerdu.org.


Secondly, the social unrest and the fair treatment of all individuals without respect to race, religion, sex, etc.  The ACE Mentor Program, the national organization, celebrated its 25th anniversary last year.  One of the main objectives when the program was started was to serve the underserved students in New York City.  From that start the program has spread across the country and we now have 70 affiliates with the same goal to not only serve all students, but to also make certain we are reaching out and serving the underserved students of our community who might like to learn more about an ACE related career.  If you will look on our website, www.acerdu.org, under “news” heading you will see a statement that has been adopted by the ACE Mentor Program with regards to equality for all and condemning racism.  We feel that this statement reflects the values of the ACE Mentor Program when it comes to how we as an organization work with parents and students.  We hope you feel the same as we do about this critical issue facing our country.


If you have any questions, issues or concerns about this note or anything else please feel free to reach out to me, weseyler@bellsouth.net or (919) 550-2202, so we can discuss.  As always, it is a privilege and an honor to get to work with the young people here in the Triangle area.  The students are inquisitive, bright, articulate and fun to work with so as a mentor it is going to be different working with the students virtually, but we are convinced that we can do it and do it successfully.  As always we will continue to plant shade trees which we as mentors will never sit, but many others along life’s journey will.


Bill Seyler, PE – RDU ACE Board of Director Chairman