March 11, 2020


This past Friday, March 6th, was a special day for Epstein; not only did we have the privilege of helping ACE Mentor Chicago celebrate their 20th anniversary, but we were also able to hand out multiple scholarships to very deserving ACE students during their fundraising luncheon.

As a long-standing supporter of the ACE Mentor Chicago program, Epsteins staff has served as mentors to Chicagoland high school students interested in the fields of architecture, engineering and construction. This mentoring occurs during a year-long program in which ACE students come to our office and, along with our partner firms Lend Lease & ESD, receive detailed overviews/instruction on the AEC world. This culminates in a design presentation given to a packed auditorium of ACE students, alumni and design, engineering and construction industry professionals.

ACEs luncheon, the groups main fundraising mechanism, was attended by more than 800 individuals and helped raise more than $360,000 for the program. In addition, Epstein was thrilled to present scholarships to current ACE students as well as two significant alumni scholarships.

Our in-house charity, the Epstein Community Foundation, handed out three $500 scholarships to ACE students who won a luncheon design competition, during which attendees were asked to create buildings out of Styrofoam balls and wood skewers.

Our 2019/2020 ACE Mentor team

Additionally, the Foster Epstein Moreno Joint Venture, our design team partnership with Foster + Partners and JGMA for the OHare Global Terminal Design Competition, donated our $50,000 competition stipend to ACE. More than 30 ACE alumni applied for the scholarship and, after some hard decisions narrowing the field down, two students were selected to win a $10,000 and a $20,000 scholarship (in honor of ACE's 20th anniversary). FYI: well be handing out two $10,000 scholarships next year as well.

ECF scholarship winners

One of the best parts of awarding the Foster Epstein Moreno scholarships was that the winners were not notified beforehand. Therefore, Epsteins Tom Smiles and Fosters Juan Vieria were able to surprise the winners, Raven Ramsey ($10,000) and William Manzanilla ($20,000), at the luncheon with a formal presentation of their scholarship awards. We can confidentially state that Raven and William are two incredibly talented students who will undoubtedly do great things in our industry and in life.

The ACE luncheon was attended by a number of Epsteiners, including: Criss Paccione-Anderson, Chair of the luncheon and also the Head of the Governance Committee; Randy Buescher, an ACE Executive Board Member; Alexus Davis, co-leader of our current mentor team; ACE mentors Jeff McQuiston, Ilyssa Kaserman and Sarah Bush; and Noel Abbott.