One of the greatest joys in life is mentorship. It is a service that can have a tremendous impact on the younger generation by improving their academic performance, heightening their self-esteem, and stimulating their career trajectory. By acting as an ambassador to future leaders, entrepreneurs, and professionals, the purpose of our work becomes focused on enriching society rather than solely earning a living for ourselves.

Several of our staff at Antinozzi Associates have stepped up to this challenge through their involvement with the ACE Mentor Program, designed to introduce students to the Architecture, Construction, and Engineering industry. It provides valuable opportunities for students to work directly with industry professionals, discover and develop new skills, and receive hands-on experience in solving design challenges using advance computerized tools that prepare them for careers in these fields.

We couldn’t be more proud of all the students who participated in this year’s program and attended weekly meetings at our office in Downtown Bridgeport. Congratulations to the Summit Design team for taking home the Annual Christiano Emeritus award for their winning design at last month’s final presentation at the University of Bridgeport. One of the students from the Greater Bridgeport Chapter, Ann Pakhayev, was also a recipient of the CMiC Allen Berg Memorial Scholarship, a prestigious award on the national level. She and her mother, along with one of our Chapter’s mentors from Turner Construction, Georgina Talbot, and ACE CT Chairperson, Maria Loitz, travelled to Washington D.C. for this recognition as part of ACE’s 25th Anniversary Celebration.

“I participated in the Greater Bridgeport Chapter of the ACE Mentor program last year, in which I built a great camaraderie and feeling of belonging in a community of like-minded individuals. In developing residential plans for the revitalization of Steelpointe Harbor in Bridgeport for our project, I helped present and lead the team’s final presentation at the University of Bridgeport as lead architect. The participation helped me build confidence in delivery, as I had to both talk through meaningful ideas quickly and keep the audience engaged. In congruence to my prior experiences, I hope to continue developing design and leadership skills as well as ultimately learning more about architecture in the real world. I also hope to continue building confidence, making friends, and collaborating with my peers.”

After the program wrapped up at the end of the school year, ACE Mentors received this meaningful feedback from Dominic Gomes, a Stratford High School student in the program: “I wanted to thank the ACE mentors for taking their time to support and guide us as we participated in the ACE program. It was an amazing experience. I have worked with CAD since middle school, but this was a first for me to use CAD while working with someone from the industry. I appreciate the opportunity I was given to learn about the engineering field with professionals from a variety of backgrounds.”

Antinozzi Associates would like to thank everyone who gave their time and resources to this program all year long, including all of the ACE mentors and leaders; Antinozzi staff members Kevin Gatzke, David Stone, and Joel Smith; parents and school liaisons who helped along the way; and contributors from Fuss & O’Neill, DeSimone Consulting Engineers, Turner Construction, Gilbane Building Company, DiBlasi Associates, ENCON, BL Companies, the University of Bridgeport, the Stratford Board of Education, Trumbull Public Schools, and the Town of Trumbull. We would also like to extend a heartfelt thank you to Diane Christiano, Chair of the Advisory Board for the Greater Bridgeport Chapter of the ACE Mentor Program, for her leadership and dedication for the past xx years.

We hope the students are enjoying a fun and rewarding summer, and good luck to all those pursuing architecture, construction, and engineering majors in the Fall!

Thank you to John Hewitt for providing photos from the final presentation at the University of Bridgeport!