A program aimed at getting students interested in the fields of architecture and engineering is proving to be a success.
The ACE Mentor Program has been credited with helping engage students and ignite their excitement in the technical fields.
"I still can't believe I've made it this far," said Krystal Robinson, 21, who was part of the program and now serves as an ACE mentor. She credits the program for helping her get the career she's always wanted.
"Most people don't know that these opportunities are availablebut, because of the ACE program I was able to achieve my goals," she said. Now an Electrical Engineer, Robinson volunteers with the after-school architecture, construction and engineering program.
Every other week, professional mentors expose teens to real-life structural problems. At Booker T. Washington high school in D.C., Wednesday's lesson is how to build the best foundation for a building.
"It's very coolto sit here and use your hands and your mind to build something. It's pretty cool," said student Eliyas Argehegne.
Creating a hands-on experience is exactly what ACE strives to provide each student.
"It's really interesting once you take them out and show them things and expose them to how much work went into any type of built structure. You see them light up and its things they never really realized before," said Trisha Grant, who is the Executive Director of the ACE Program.
ACE encourages students to see, first-hand, what architects and engineers really do. "You know what an architect does, but you don't know how he produces it. ACE helped me know the process,"Argehegne said.
Experiences like those of ACE students past and present, are what helped Robinson realize her dreams.