Melissa Lavin-Hickey

Melissa Lavin-Hickey
Director
Burns & McDonnell Foundation
Email Melissa
P: 816-822-3024
F: 816-822-3516

Where Young Minds Explore Their Possibilities and Potential

Where Young Minds Explore Their Possibilities and Potential

Each year, more than 30 engineers from Burns & McDonnell join a team of mentors from Kansas City's top architecture, construction and engineering firms to lend our time and talents to the ACE Mentor Program of Greater Kansas City.

Together, we walk the halls of eight area high schools for an entire school year, bringing career possibilities to local students.

A nationwide program, ACE was founded in 1995 as an innovative way of attracting students — particularly minorities, women and the less privileged — into the engineering profession. To date, it has reached more than 10,000 students in 80 cities across the United States.

Through our local chapter of this national mentoring program, we collaborate with fellow industry mentors to:

  • Guide a team of 15 to 25 students through a mock design project
  • Introduce students to our companies and our practices
  • Provide scholarships to encourage students to pursue a career in an ACE industry
  • Show young minds how they can shape the world

Last year, our students explored sustainable design ideas as they crafted a community arts center. From September to May, students learned about sustainability, modeled their designs in a 3-D software program, took field trips and had the opportunity to walk through our halls as apprentice engineers and architects.