Mary Stewart, PE, CFM, LEED

Making a Difference Through Mentoring

Mary Stewart

Practice Leader

In 2007, I had the pleasure of getting involved with the ACE Mentor Program of Greater San Antonio, a non-profit organization that brings together industry professionals with high school students to help them learn more about careers in architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC).

As a woman in the AEC industry, I am deeply passionate about serving as a role model, particularly for young women, and showing them that they too can succeed in this field. Since its inception, this program has been instrumental in supporting the advancement of young professionals in the industry. Over the years, I have seen ACE grow from serving students in 2 schools to 12 schools, with over 1,500 students completing the program and hundreds of mentors making a difference. It has been truly rewarding to witness the impact of ACE on students as they receive scholarships, pursue higher education, and come back to contribute as mentors, creating a cycle of success and giving back that demonstrates the program’s effectiveness in fostering the next generation of leaders.

In my role as a long-time mentor and board member, I have had the privilege of meeting many others who share the same passion for engaging, exciting, and enlightening these students. Serving as the chairperson for the past two years has been an honor, and I am deeply grateful for the unwavering support of my family and friends. Reflecting on my own journey, I often wish that a program like ACE had been available when I was in high school, as it would have provided me with valuable insights and advantages in pursuing my career in this field.

I strongly encourage others to seek out similar programs in their local communities, as they have the power to inspire and empower the next generation of professionals. Through mentoring, we can make a meaningful difference in the lives of young students and contribute to the continued growth and diversity of the AEC industry.