PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The word “mentor” dates back to the early Greeks, meaning a sustained relationship. Many of us have been fortunate in having natural mentors — uncles, teachers, neighbors who gave us guidance and direction. But, for the thousands of kids who aren’t so lucky, mentoring programs have helped.

Education Week reports on the ACE Mentor Program of Greater Washington, DC, part of national ACE, which exposes high school students to STEM areas — science, technology, engineering and math (subjects in which we are lacking graduates), with the goal of reaching 100,000 students by 2018.

Motivated by the hit TV series “CSI,” students meet twice weekly after school for real-life experiences with mentors in architecture and engineering visiting and planning building changes for a new high school and discussing with a “blast engineer” how to ensure that buildings are protected against terrorist attacks.

Of the 2009 graduates, 97% of ACE students graduated compared nationally with 94% and 73.4% enrolled in college compared to the national average of 68%. Not surprisingly a large majority are opting for careers in engineering, construction and architecture!

Reported By Dr. Marciene Mattleman, KYW Newsradio

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