Achieving Competitive Excellence (ACE)

The obstacles faced by many our youth today are overwhelming. Either by choice, circumstance or both, many students have lost their “sense of self” which has created a debilitating discouragement. In many cases the results have become catastrophic,  resulting in insecurity, low self-esteem, self-doubt, fear and condemnation, all of which have led to behavior challenges, lower academic achievement, etc. The pendulum swings from an inflated sense of entitlement mindset to the poor me defeatist attitude. For some it is the achievement trap and for others it is a learned helplessness. 

What is the ACE Project?


Achieving Competitive Excellence (ACE) is a Character, Integrity, Leadership and Life Skills Development Program. The ACE process helps students analyze situations in real-time and make the best decisions in that moment. Using a proven coaching model, (Think-Say-Do) students are guided through novel decision-making approaches which result in improved behavior, increased attention and better classroom performance. 

How ACE Works

Through facilitated introspection students develop a fresh new perspective, develop the proper framework for decision making and understand the power of choice. Students learn to accept responsibility for their actions and decrease the “victim mentality” mindset. Our students understand that failure and adversity are part of the success formula and learn to respond appropriately. Students learn the value of struggle and become persistent, resilient, possess grit and are more likely to achieve positive outcomes. They engage in positive reappraisal and find meaning and benefit in the adversities of daily life. Our highly interactive coaching sessions help develop highly disciplined students, with disciplined thoughts, followed by disciplined actions. 

Pictured above are 5 Speed athletes involved in the ACE Project at North Middle School (April 2018).

Pictured above are 5 Speed athletes involved in the ACE Project at North Middle School (April 2018).


To Whom it May Concern:

I am writing this letter of reference for Charmas Lee. Charmas worked as a structured mentor/teacher for a cohort of African American males at North Middle School. During this time Charmas focused on essential adaptive skills essential to academic and social success in and out of the school setting. His skills are extraordinary and success (e.g. the growth on the CMAS assessment of the African American male cohort at North Middle School surpasses all other sub groups including the Gifted and Talented population).

The process Charmas utilizes can be summarized in two words: grit and resiliency. His programming hones in on building essential skills; a process through which students develop a cognitive strategic plan that breaks larger issues into smaller more manageable ones. The focus on grit/resiliency affords his students the opportunity to internalize both problem solving skills and cognitive flexibility-skills essential to overcoming impediments and success in the 21st century.

I strongly recommend his programming.

Chris Kilroy, Principal

North Middle School


“ACE has equipped Alexis with the confidence and strategies to handle personal challenges so she can now focus on her academics. She has become a leader in our classroom, and I can't wait to see where her newly acquired skills are going to take her in the future!”

—Debbie Thorne, 5th grade teacher


“In one instance, I had a young man registered at Adams who recently moved from LA. This student was, to say the least, very hardened at age 8. His father was in prison and he had clearly learned to survive in a very harsh reality. Every minute was a power struggle with adults and peers. He was in fights, running away from the school and causing property damage when he would explode with intense rage. This student made significant changes after attending ACE for a few months.”

— Patricia Dennard, School Counselor


“What started as a great opportunity for our most challenged students, has clearly become a program for all kids. When more and more research is released around the intense pressures that today’s youth are facing around social media and bullying there is no doubt all kids could benefit from the opportunity to gain greater self-confidence, perseverance, and focus.”

— Nate Hansen, Principal

Adams Elementary School

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