Margaret Hewitt Reflects on the ACE Mentoring Program

Montrie Rucker Adams of Visibility Marketing Inc.'s interview with Margaret Hewitt, ‎President of The Construction Green Team.

How long have you been in the program?

Since the beginning. I was at University Hospitals when we started the ACE program. We were the first sponsor with Gilbane at John Hay High School. I worked with Courtney Behm, Gilbane, and we sat down with CMSD to develop what it would look like. Once I started my business, I took a break. Recently, I started mentoring at New Tech East. I’ve been volunteering there for the past two years.

New Tech East is a CMSD small high school. These schools have a range of 120 to 400 students. 

I am a personal mentor for an ACE graduate. Courney asked me to work with one particular student, Imani, and I agreed. She is now in her fourth year of college. College Now runs the college mentoring program. They keep track of the kids after they graduate from high school and through college. ACE as a national organization also works to keep information about the students after their high school graduation.

I keep in contact with Imani while she is in school and I try to have lunch with her when she comes home on breaks. She knows that she can contact me at any time. I will always make time for her.

My advice for other mentors would be, to not assume what the students needs and instead respond to what they tell you they need. Let it happen organically. Even if you are a little rusty, you will figure it out. When you both figure it out, it is great!

For fun?

My husband and I like to do stuff around the house. I’m painting my kitchen cabinets now. We also ride motorcycles. We love it. It is completely different from being in a car. You can feel the sun, you can smell the flowers, you can feel the cooling of the shade from a tree and you can hear things that you don’t hear in a car.

We have gone to Niagra Falls and the Ozarks on our bikes and had a blast. Going through the border gates in Canada was a challenging experience. You realize how exposed you are when there are so many other vehicles around you.

Why do you mentor?

I decided to become a mentor because of my love for construction. I have been in the construction industry to 30 years. I love it! I can’t imagine myself anywhere else. You can go and see whet you did. It’s there for a long time. My name is on a plaque in McCormick Place Convention Center in Chicago Illinois along with 3000 others - and it makes me proud.

In the construction industry, we are always thinking of the future. If we are thinking about today, it means that there is a problem today. When we solve that problem we are back to the future. We take what we image and make it a reality. Many people can’t image that you are going to demolish the I-90 bridge and build a new one. Or build a hospital where a restaurant used to be. Nor a school being constructed where vacant houses existed. But we do it all the time. We build the future.

In this business, you also meet people with so many varied backgrounds. I’ve met people with GEDs to Masters degrees. I always love to hear the stories of how each ended up here. It’s an industry where if you can perform and achieve you can succeed. 

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