Anamaria Jovel
Anamaria Jovel

What an honor it was to introduce the winner of the Tudor Van Hampton Scholarship at the New York ACE Mentor Program luncheon on May 12. The scholarship, donated by BNP Media, was awarded to Anamaria Jovel, who will study architecture at the City College of New York.

Van Hampton was ENR’s managing editor until his death in February from a brain tumor. He was passionate about journalism and also about helping others. We are sure he would have appreciated a scholarship awarded in his memory.

Jovel says the ACE Mentor Program solidified her dream to study architecture. “I had always loved creating and building, but I hadn’t had a glimpse of what real-world architecture was like until ACE.”

The program, which prepares high school students for careers in design and construction through mentoring by volunteer industry professionals, now includes chapters in 200 cities that connect 8,000 students with 3,000 mentors yearly. New York ACE awarded $200,000 in 2017 to 63 students, based on recommendations from teachers and mentors as well as on number of years in the program.

Jovel, who now attends the Williamsburg High School for Architecture and Design, says her most inspiring moment came while working on an extracurricular presentation about her favorite designer.  She chose William Pedersen, KPF’s founding design partner, because the firm leads her ACE team and sent her a book written by Pedersen and a senior designer as a reference for her project. “It was a complete shock and such a wonderful moment. I realized that everyone I met through this program can be an integral part of advancing my future. [The mentors] truly respect the students trying to follow in their footsteps and believe that we can make it,” she said.

ACE has a huge impact on young people wanting to pursue construction careers, Jovel believes, especially for young women and minorities. “ACE encourages this diversity. It shows that anyone can rebuild our world.” Jovel wants to become a mentor one day: “I want to be that role model I’ve had all these years for someone else.”