Katie Haberberger, Assistant Preconstruction Manager, was selected as this year’s ACE Mentor of the Year. The ACE Mentor Program is a nationwide program designed to introduce high school students to the wide range of career opportunities in architecture, construction, engineering, and related areas of the building design and construction industry. Katie joined EMJ back in 2016 and has been a part of the ACE Mentor Program ever since.
As a high school student in St. Louis, Missouri, Katie had the opportunity to participate in a similar program called “Project Lead the Way”. Katie’s participation in this program helped affirm her desire to pursue a degree and career in the construction industry, and she now gets to pay it forward by helping high school students today discover and develop new skills, solidify future goals and get on track to exciting, rewarding careers.
The team that Katie led this past year met weekly in the evenings at the EMJ Chattanooga office, and during each session students had the opportunity to work directly with industry professionals as they sought to plan/design a renovation for a building in downtown Chattanooga. Katie brought in the architect she was working with on one of her job sites at the time so that the students could further apply real-life experience to their hypothetical project. After six months of learning, planning, and experimenting, the students presented their project at an end of the year banquet.
“It’s tough at first to get the students to progress week to week so that they can be prepared for the final presentations, but I love getting to see how proud they are of themselves once they reach the end,” says Katie.
After hearing Katie talk about her experiences thus far as an ACE Mentor, it was no surprise that she was named ACE Mentor of the Year. This title is only given to one mentor in the entire Southeast Tennessee and North Georgia area each year and EMJ is proud that Katie is this year’s recipient. She is actively living out EMJ’s mission, to be people serving people, by volunteering her time and industry experience to the next generation of industry professionals.
If you are interested in learning more about how to become an ACE Mentor, you can learn more about it here or by e-mailing Katie at firstname.lastname@example.org