We believe in building strong relationships with the future of our industry. That’s why so many Stantec employees volunteer with the ACE Mentor program. What’s ACE? An organization that pairs students interested in architecture, construction, and engineering with experienced mentors. These connections between experts and amateurs allow students to engage and succeed, and help our mentors shape the future of our field.
“Watching my students transform year after year is what keeps me so motivated and so involved in this incredible program.” Olga Gorbunova, licensed engineer, ACE.
Recently, at ACE’s 21st Annual Scholarship Luncheon, Olga received the ACE of the Year award from the program’s New York City affiliate—a well-deserved honor that recognizes her hard work and contributions to Stantec’s involvement in the ACE program.
As a mentor and as a major proponent of ACE culture in Stantec, Olga has worked to make a difference in the lives of architecture and engineering students across the US.
In 2014 we had about 60 Stantec mentors in ACE. Now we have over 120—and that’s due in no small part to the work that Olga puts into promoting and championing this program.
An integral part of the engineering team in our New York City office, Olga has supported a variety of clients including the New York State Department of Transportation and the Federal Emergency Management Agency—and the skills and experience she’s acquired from ACE mentorship and team leadership have helped her lead successful project teams within Stantec.
Most designers will tell you how crucial field work is when it comes to understanding a project’s life cycle. Personal engagement helps you feel how a project comes together, and it makes you a better designer.
At the Huntington Park Rec Center, our ACE mentors partnered with the community to build raised flower beds, and our students got to work on a project from start to finish.
First, the ACE students drew preliminary designs and compared them to professional flower bed plans. The week after that, they started to build.
Putting the flower beds together with their own hands helped the ACE students learn more about design. “They started to piece it together, to connect with why we draw our plans a certain way,” said Michael Clark, ACE mentor in Philadelphia.
Now, local kids get to use these flower beds to learn about gardening and take care of their own plants.
The project had another tangible benefit as well: one of our ACE students landed an internship after highlighting this project and his ACE experience on his resume.
They say it’s better to give than to get. We know that for a fact. Hearing students tell us how much they appreciate the ACE program is as valuable as the relationships we build together.
We asked our young friends to share what the program means to them. Sometimes, a single word says it all.
What do we have to say? Phenomenal.
Our work begins at the intersection of community, creativity, and client relationships. With a long-term commitment to the people and places we serve, we have the unique ability to connect to projects on a personal level and advance the quality of life in communities across the globe.