ACME believes that mentoring – provided by experienced professionals - engages and motivates students while providing an essential work-based learning experience.  Through professional and peer critique of their projects, students not only learn state-of-the-art industry standards, skills, and practices, but also develop the professional behaviors and capacity necessary to succeed in any job setting. Moreover, ACME's "Pay-It-Forward" environment inspires students to serve as "peer mentors" - providing constructive feedback to other community members on an ongoing basis. 

"ACME Animation played a HUGE role in my success and growth as an artist. The pros are an obvious gift from the gods, with their amazing feedback and dedication to a new generation of aspiring artists. I could never thank them enough. Being able to mentor high school students and provide and receive feedback from our peers was also significant in that it inspired new ways of thinking more creatively, communicating more clearly, and criticizing more constructively. The fact that ACME was so direct, so hands-on, and so accessible to me just made it one of the BEST resources I ever had and could ever hope for." 

Januel Mercado • Story Artist at DreamWorks Animation • ACME Grad

“Having an engineer in real time giving us feedback on our projects helped my team work out a few new details, allowing our project to function correctly.”

 • 2019 ACME Engineering Student •


"The connection with ACME gives our artists a fresh take on mentoring and critique and helps to further develop their talents. It not only encourages ACME's students, but it helps our professionals gain experience in giving positive and effective feedback. Mentoring also helps our artists creatively; as they speak to students, they revisit the founding principles. When they return to work, they'll practice what they preach, because now it's top of mind. The basics never go out of style." 

Chad Hellmuth • Artist Management & Internship Program • Sony Pictures ImageWorks

"I was awestruck by the creativity and will of the students to go after and solve a hard problem. Engaging with them through the video conference platform was invigorating!"

L. Nayagam •  SunPower Engineer

"The powerful thing about ACME is being part of its collaborative learning environment. Everyone benefits from the constructive comments and critiques posted on the site…. professionals, teachers, and students alike. Even as a professional artist and teacher, there is always more to learn. I’m appreciative to both ACME and its students for allowing me to be part of such a wonderful opportunity."

 Jeremiah Alcorn • Professional Animator •  High School Teacher • ACME Grad

"The (Engineering) Mentoring project is a rich professional experience for teachers and an invaluable experience for students. Having industry sector connection experiences such as this one, greatly enhance a student's educational experience."

 Adam Woods •  High School Engineering Teacher



ACME’s PAY IT FORWARD approach sets it apart from other mentoring programs. In addition to doing good work, students must offer constructive, technical feedback to fellow members -- in their own and other schools -- in order to earn access to critiques from professionals and higher level peers. As a result, they become invested in one another's success and discover the rewards of giving, as well as receiving.  

Because students must rely on industry specific principles to make their points and must behave and communicate professionally, they learn both self discipline and social responsibility, and the entire community benefits. In addition, teaching what one knows not only helps the other guy, but also brings learning to the forefront of consciousness, deepening its impact. 

ACME Alumni are working in a broad range of technology, management, creative, media, and education positions. They voluntarily give back to ACME as professionals, mentoring the next generation of young innovators. And they strengthen their own skills accordingly.