ACE Mentor Program of America and U.S. Green Building Council Announce E-Mentoring Program on Sustainable Design for High School Students

Stamford, Connecticut, May 25, 2011

Thousands of high school juniors and seniors participating in the Architecture/Construction/Engineering (ACE) Mentor Program now are able to participate in an innovative E-mentoring program about sustainable design co-collaborated and developed by ACE and the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). The program is supported by a generous gift from AT&T.

The Sustainable Design Award (SDA) program has arisen out of ACE’s extensive experience mentoring high school students and USGBC’s preeminent expertise in green design. ACE staff and volunteer mentors joined forces with USGBC staff to create the program.  The SDA draws on existing USGBC materials, adapts them for the purpose of virtual mentoring, and adds new features. 

“Our collaboration with USGBC has added a whole new dimension to the ACE program,” said Pamela Mullender, President and Chief Executive Officer of ACE. “Understanding sustainability at this stage of a student’s life is critical to the global design/build world of the future.  This award will give ACE students a leg-up on other students as they pursue careers after high school and college. The contribution from AT&T will make it a reality.”

With the SDA program, interested ACE students from anywhere in the country can have the benefit of one-on-one mentoring through the Web with mentors who actively apply green design strategies to their work as architects, engineers, and construction managers.  Mentors in the SDA program must have LEED-AP accreditation and also be registered in the ACE mentor database.

“At AT&T, we're deeply committed to sustainability and we are pleased to support the Sustainable Design Award program,” said Laura Sanford, President – AT&T Foundation.  “By giving young people the opportunity to see, first hand, the impact of environmental design, engineering and construction, the program is one of many initiatives that will make our communities stronger.”

The SDA program, which has its own website (, consists of two main activities. First, students take a USGBC online course which interactively teaches the fundamental principles and practices of green design.  They must pass a short quiz on the course before they can proceed to the next phase of the program.

The heart of the SDA program involves a case study of a sustainably designed building.  Students choose one of four buildings, all of which have received the highest LEED certification, to analyze. Students first read a detailed description of the project and then complete a digital report identifying and explaining the project’s sustainable design strategies and their benefits.

Mentors review and approve students’ work on-line, engage in virtual discussions with them, and sign off on their record each time they fulfill a program requirement.  Students who successfully meet SDA program requirements receive an award signed by the USGBC and ACE presidents.  It indicates that a student, at a basic level, is able to evaluate green buildings on strategies, elements of sustainable design and construction, and benefits to the environment, occupants, and owner.

The Sustainable Design Award program is an optional addition to the regular ACE program.  Over the past fifteen years, ACE’s mentors, all practicing professionals in the integrated construction industry, have introduced more than 60,000 students to this industry by taking them through a free afterschool program lasting 40-45 hours.

AT&T’s contribution supports SDA program start up activities and first year operation and is part of AT&T Aspire, the company’s four year, $100 million commitment to education.  Launched in 2008, AT&T Aspire is one of the largest-ever corporate commitments to address high school success and workforce readiness.

[Full access to the SDA website is open only to registered and approved students and mentors.  Journalists who wish to explore it in depth should contact Ed Worthy, ACE’s Education Director.]

*AT&T products and services are provided or offered by subsidiaries and affiliates of AT&T Inc. under the AT&T brand and not by AT&T Inc.

ACE Mentor Program of America
The ACE Mentor Program is the fastest-growing high school mentoring program focusing on careers in the integrated construction industry. It was founded by the principals of leading design and construction firms, to introduce high school students to career opportunities in the industry. The mission of the organization is to engage, excite and enlighten high school students to pursue careers in the design/build construction industry through mentoring, and to support their continued advancement in the industry through scholarships and grants. ACE especially focuses on reaching students who otherwise may not become aware of the challenges and rewards of a career in the design and construction industry. For additional information or to find an ACE Mentor Program in your area please visit

U.S. Green Building Council
The U.S. Green Building Council is committed to a prosperous and sustainable future for our nation through cost-efficient and energy-saving green buildings. With a community comprising 79 local affiliates, 16,000 member companies and organizations, and more than 162,000 LEED Professional Credential holders, USGBC is the driving force of an industry that is projected to contribute $554 billion to the U.S. gross domestic product from 2009-2013. USGBC leads a diverse constituency of builders and environmentalists, corporations and nonprofit organizations, elected officials and concerned citizens, and teachers and students. Buildings in the United States are responsible for 39% of CO2 emissions, 40% of energy consumption, 13% water consumption and 15% of GDP per year, making green building a source of significant economic and environmental opportunity. Greater building efficiency can meet 85% of future U.S. demand for energy, and a national commitment to green building has the potential to generate 2.5 million American jobs.

The U.S. Green Building Council's LEED green building certification system is the foremost program for the design, construction, operation and maintenance of green buildings. Over 40,000 projects are currently participating in the commercial and institutional LEED rating systems, comprising over 7.9 billion square feet of construction space in all 50 states and 117 countries. In addition, nearly 10,000 homes have been certified under the LEED for Homes rating system, with nearly 45,000 more homes registered. By using less energy, LEED-certified buildings save money for families, businesses and taxpayers; reduce greenhouse gas emissions; and contribute to a healthier environment for residents, workers and the larger community. For more information, visit

About Philanthropy at AT&T
AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) is committed to advancing education, strengthening communities and improving lives. Through its philanthropic initiatives, AT&T has a long history of supporting projects that create learning opportunities; promote academic and economic achievement; and address community needs. In 2010, more than $148.2 million was contributed through corporate-, employee- and AT&T Foundation-giving programs.

About AT&T
AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) is a premier communications holding company. Its subsidiaries and affiliates – AT&T operating companies – are the providers of AT&T services in the United States and around the world. With a powerful array of network resources that includes the nation's fastest mobile broadband network, AT&T is a leading provider of wireless, Wi-Fi, high speed Internet and voice services. A leader in mobile broadband, AT&T also offers the best wireless coverage worldwide, offering the most wireless phones that work in the most countries. It also offers advanced TV services under the AT&T U-verse® and AT&T | DIRECTV brands. The company's suite of IP-based business communications services is one of the most advanced in the world. In domestic markets, AT&T Advertising Solutions and AT&T Interactive are known for their leadership in local search and advertising.

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