Harpswell student wins prestigious national scholarship

Samantha Palma of Harpswell, who is a senior at Baxter Academy for Technology and Science in Portland, is one of 25 students nationwide to receive an award in a new $400,000 scholarship program organized by the ACE Mentor Program of America.

The CMiC-Allen Berg Memorial Scholarships are worth between $10,000 and $40,000. They are named in honor of the late founder of the construction management software company CMiC and are intended to assist talented and deserving students planning to study architecture, engineering or construction in college.

ACE, whichstands for Architecture, Construction, and Engineering, is a free afterschool program created by the integrated construction industry to attract students into pursuing industry-related careers. Palma has participated for three years in the program run by ACE’s Maine affiliate.

“Samantha’s receipt of this scholarship is a terrific mark of distinction for her as well as our affiliate,” said Leigh Bartlett, chairwoman of the Maine ACE affiliate’s board. “She is on the way to becoming a standout in the engineering industry.”

Palma is headed to the University of Maine, where she will study civil and environmental engineering this fall. In addition to participating in the ACE program, her Flex Friday project at Baxter Academy was dedicated to raising a roadway threatened by flooding in Harpswell.

“Samantha’s success with her Flex Friday project exemplifies what students can do when they have opportunities to learn from professionals such as her ACE mentors,” Said Heather D’Ippolito, outreach and partnership coordinator at Baxter Academy. “It’s been fantastic watching her apply new knowledge to her work here at Baxter.”

The scholarship competition was highly competitive. From among 10,000 students nationwide, each of ACE’s 70 affiliates could nominate one student. Nominees went through a two-stage review process to assess their merit and financial need.

Palma and the other 24 scholarship winners have been invited to receive their awards at ACE’s 25th Anniversary Celebration in Washington, DC on May 14.

Founded in 2008, the ACE Mentor Program of Maine is one of 74 affiliates in the nationwide program. It annually engages 10,000 high school students in a free afterschool program lasting 15 sessions. Volunteer industry professionals mentor students and lead them through a hands-on simulation of designing and constructing a project.  

Samantha Palma of Harpswell is one of only 25 students nationwide to receive an award in a new national scholarship program.

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