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Accelerated Collegiate Experience

Accelerated Collegiate Experience

ACE Mentors


2014 - 2015 ACE MENTORS


Alesa graduated from Palmetto Ridge High School and the ACE Program in spring 2014.  She is currently working on a BS in economics at FGCU where she is a research assistant for the Lutgert College of Business.  While in the ACE program Alesa inaugurated Never Too Young, a service learning project that assists young elementary students in understanding basic economic and finance topics and included a simulated marketplace.  Alesa is in FGCU Honors, is active in Eagles for Liberty and was chosen to intern during the 2014 summer at The Washington Center.  She loves Pinterest and enjoys looking for great projects there..including recipes, because she loves to bake and cook!  A recent project is growing organic food!  She also loves to travel, exercise and watch television and movies.  Alesa has completed over 180 service learning hours while at FGCU.

Alesa's Advice:  Don't try to conquer the world in one semester.  Enjoy the moment.  Also, get a campus map!




Auburn graduated from Cypress Lake High and the ACE Program in spring 2014.  She is currently working on a BS in Biology with a minor in Spanish.  She is in FGCU Honors and has completed over 102 service learning hours while in the ACE program!  She is an avid equestrian and loves to ride and compete with her two horses.   She also trains jiu-jitsu a form of kickboxing.

Aburn's Advice:  Be prepared to give 110% to your studies because commitment is key in order to succeed.  Otherwise, enjoy the life of being a university student! 




Regine's home school is Immokalee High School.  She is a full time FGCU student and working on a BS in Health Science.  Regine competes in cross country and track, is in both the National Honor Society and BETA Club, and volunteers in the Guadalupe Tutor Corps Program.  She participates in One by One Leadership and is in FGCU Honors. Regine likes to run and spend time with her friends.  She is an avid volunteer and loves to participate as much as she can in her community and has earned service learning hours at FGCU. 

Regine's Advice: You are definitely capable of handling college; you would not be in ACE if you weren't.  Just study, stay focussed and watch your time management!  Also, you have to stay motivated.  It is too easy to push assignments back.  Do them well and as early as you can so that you have less to worry about and more time to engage in the other wonderful activities on campus.  You CAN, and WILL succeed!  :-)


Rachel Abby 

Abby's home school is Naples High School.  She is a full time FGCU student and working on a BS in Biology.  Abby was active in her high school marching band, chorus and Mu Alpha Theta.  She is in both FGCU Honors and Phi Eta Sigma National Freshman Honor Society. She is an accomplished flutest and a member of the Naples Youth Philharmonic and Naples Concert Band.  She also plays in the FGCU Basketball Band and FGCU Wind Orchestra!  In her spare time she loves spending time with friends.

Abby's Advice:  Get involved on campus!  Find an organization to join or get involved in research.  It will enhance your experience at FGCU.  Also, reach out to other ACE students in your classes.  It is a great way to make new friends that are in the same experience as you.  ACE students are GREAT to form study groups with!


 Mentor Trace

Trace's home school is Estero High where he participated in debate, orchestra and an acapella singing group.  Trace is a full time FGCU student and working toward a BS in Economics.  While at FGCU he has become Treasurer of the FGCU Republicans, Treasurer of the Red Cross Club, a member of the FGCU Rugby Team, a member of Eagles for Liberty and is a tutor for micro-economics.   Trace is also working for State Farm and Cole Haan and he is currently interning for Governor Rick Scott. In his spare time he loves to play his guitar or cello and loves video games.

Trace's Advice: Make sure that you get involved with as much as you can handle while still maintaining your GPA.  Grade point average IS very important, but it is not everything.   




Emily graduated from Fort Myers High and the ACE Program in spring 2014.  She is a full time FGCU student working on a BS degree in Economics.  Emily participates each year in St. Baldricks Day, an initiative to raise funds and awareness for children battling cancer.  She is in FGCU Honors and is a Teaching Assistant (TA) for both Professor Eric Otto and Professor Brad Hobbs.  She is also a research assistant for Dr. Hobbs.   Emily is Vice President for Eagles for Liberty and in her spare time likes to read, cook and hang out with friends.  She is an avid photographer.

Emily's Advice:  Talk to your professors!  They are a wealth of knowledge and having a rapport with them can help your grade as well as your studies and experiences. 



Shanley's home school is Riverdale High where she played Powder Puff Football and participated in Fellowship of Christian Athletes.  She loves horses and in her spare time rides and barrel races. She also volunteers at Special Equestrians and shadows a local veterinarian.  Shanley is in FGCU Honors and participated in the FGCU Leadership Academy.  She volunteers at Tortuga Preserve Elementary School and is a member of Ignite, a youth group at her church.  She loves volleyball and will play any sport with her friends (she particpated in the 50-mile relay Fly By Night at FGCU). 

Shanley's Advice:  Learn to study as soon as possible; do not wait until it is too late.  Meet your professors because building connections early is important for oportunities in the future. 



Belen's home school is Golden Gate High where she participates in Junior Civitans and is in National Honor Society.  Belen is in FGCU Honors and Phi Eta Sigma National Freshman Honor Society.  She is currently conducting research at FGCU in inorganic chemistry with Professor McManus and plans to study neuroscience.   Belen participated in FGCU Make A Difference Day and FGCU Leadership Summit and looks forward to participating again this year.  She is a member of the Red Cross Club and in her spare time likes to watch documentaries, ride her bike and discover new music.  She also loves to spend quiet time star gazing, meditating and writing in her diary.

Belen's Advice:  Don't be afraid to get out of your comfort zone!  That's where the growing begins.



Julia's home school is Palmetto Ridge High where she is a member of Mu Alpha Theta, National Honor Society and A Team (academic scholar bowl).  She is also Vice President of Student Council and involved in Student Government.  She participated in dance line for band and volunteered through BioBears and Key Club.   Julia is a full time FGCU student and is involved in photoacoustic imaging research at FGCU with Professor Davies.  She is also in FGCU Honors and a Teaching Assistant (TA) for a general chemistry class at FGCU.  She recently returned from Nicaragua where she volunteered with Global Medical Brigades in providing sustainable healthcare to rual communities.   She currently serves as Secretary to Global Medical Brigades.  Julia's service also included participation in FGCU's Make a Difference Day and she takes advantage of leadership opportunities at FGCU such as Leadership Summit and Leadership Academy.  In her spare time Julia swims, paints, draws and practices her ballet. 

Julia's Advice:  Be proactive and do not feel afraid to ask questions.  Seek opportunities; they are all around you at FGCU!  :-)


Christian's home school is Palmetto Ridge High where he is in the National Spanish Honor Society, Biology Club, Chamber Orchestra and Varsity Lacrosse.  Christian is a full time FGCU student working on a pre-med track.  He is the founding President of the Red Cross Club at FGCU, has attended numerous leadership seminars including FGCU's Leadership Summit and is representing FGCU at LeaderShape.  Christian participated in the FGCU 50-mile relay Fly By Night and also in the FGCU Make a Difference Day where he volunteered at Special Equestrians.  In his spare time he enjoys going to the gym and reading the newspaper.  He plays both violin and guitar and practices whenever he gets the chance.  What he enjoys most is spending quality time with good friends and family.   

Christian's Advice:  The time you spend in the ACE program will be one of the most important times in your education.  Everything you do will affect you twice as much as it would a traditional college or high school student.  If you fail a class it will affect both high school and college transcripts.  This being said, every good thing you do also looks twice as good.  If you do research you will be a high school student doing college research.  It is very important for ACE students to know how to prioritize because everything you do while in the ACE program carries a lot of weight.  It is also very important to enjoy yourself because if you don't you will eventually burn yourself out and that will only lead to failure.  So, a balance between enjoyment and work is key to being successful in the ACE program.   

Mentor Rachel

Rachel graduated from Palmetto Ridge High School and the ACE Program in spring 2014.  While in high school she played varsity soccer for 4 years.  She is currently a full time student at FGCU working on a BS in Biology and conducting research in virology with Dr. Sharon Isern.  Rachel presented her research at serveral conferences including the 2014 Florida Life Sciences Conference.  She is an FGCU Ambassador as well as a Teaching Assistant (TA) for the FGCU honors course, Virus Hunters.  She recently returned from Nicaragua where she volunteered with Global Medical Brigades in providing sustainable healthcare to rual communities. When she finds the time, she loves going to the beach, shopping and hanging around with family and friends. 

Rachel's Advice:  DO NOT bite off more than you can chew with classes or work.  You will end up regretting it and possibly doing damage to your academic record. 


Diamond graduated from North Fort Myers High and the ACE Program in spring 2014.  In high school she competed in Varsity Cross Country and Track and Field.  She is currently a full time student at FGCU working on a BA in Communication.  She is in FGCU Honors and a member of the Phi Eta Sigma National Freshman Honor Society.  She is Vice President of the Red Cross Club and Secretary of the Eaglet Mentorship Program.   

Diamond's Advice:  "The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing".  - Walt Disney


Arnold's home school is Golden Gate High where he has participated in Key Club and Varsity Soccer. He is a full-time FGCU student majoring in Exercise Science and plans to attend medical school.  At FGCU he is actively involved with the FGCU Dirty Birds (athletic pep club) and is in FGCU Honors.  He plans to be interning with a favorite professor this fall.  In his spare time Arnold LOVES to play soccer but he also enjoys reading (non-fiction mostly) and spending time with his family. 

Arnold's Advice: Enjoy the experience, get involved and reach out to make new friends.  College is also about expanding your network!  Always remember you are here to learn and challege yourself!