When you think of learning, you may consider reading books, attending classes or experiencing real-world situations, but most people overlook another way to learn that benefits both parties – teaching. When several Haskell team members volunteered to mentor high school students, they were just giving back to the community, but what they received in return was more than they anticipated.
"Those who know, do. Those that understand, teach." - Aristotle
Background on the ACE Mentor Program
The Architecture, Construction and Engineering (ACE) Mentor Program of Northeast Florida, Inc. engages architects, engineers and construction managers to volunteer 2 hours a week for 15 weeks mentoring high school students about careers in their respective fields. The mentors heighten students’ awareness of career opportunities in the industry and provide advice, role-model leadership and scholarships.
Each year, with the oversight of the dedicated mentors, one exercise excites the students most because it challenges them to apply all the lessons they learn throughout the program. The mentees are assigned teams to design a hypothetical project in response to a Request for Proposal (RFP) to mirror a realistic task of an ACE professional. Once they complete their responses, they present their design solution to a “Selection Committee” of professional judges that provide them with helpful feedback that enhances their understanding of the ACE industry.
The question is: Why should you care about this?
Haskell's Tom Grogan and Tahir Edwards help students with their project design.
Why Clients Should Care
The point of this blog is not to boast about what Haskell does in the community, but to address an important element teaching provides – complete concept understanding. When asked how the mentor program impacts them, Haskell team members shared how they learned to explain various aspects of a project from more angles than they were used to.
After challenging their communication skills in the program, many of the mentors found presenting project design ideas much easier to explain to clients. By simply forfeiting some industry acronyms and terms, their designs can be understood across the project team, increasing certainty of outcome.
If you would like to learn more about how Haskell’s commitment to continuous improvement elevates the quality of our projects, please feel free to email us with your questions. If you would like more information about the ACE Mentor program, visit www.acementor.org.