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Courtesy: Rubenstein-Bing Student-Athlete Civic Engagement (ACE) Program
2018 ACE Class Checks in from Abroad
Courtesy: Duke Sports Information
Release: 07/18/2018
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DURHAM, N.C. -- Each week this summer, student-athletes from Duke and Stanford are sharing reflections from their experiences with the ACE program. This week, the Duke and Stanford participants in Vietnam and South Africa teamed up for their second blog posts.


How Rowing and Wrestling Uniquely Prepared Two Student-Athletes to be Volunteers
By Max Evans, Stanford Men's Rowing and Roman Romero, Duke Wrestling - #ACEinSouthAfrica

A fair question to ask is how exactly were a rower and a wrestler prepared to volunteer effectively in such an environment like Nomzamo? How would a rower and wrestler be able to work together? First of all, both sports have a culture of discipline that has ingrained leadership ability in both student-athletes. More 

Unbreakable Ties
By Sydnei Murphy, Duke Women’s Track and Field and Aleeza Yu, Stanford Women’s Gymnastics - #ACEinSouthAfrica

Our most recent weekend was seventy-five and sunny – so much for this South African 'winter.' Accordingly, we spent it exploring Table Mountain, hiking to the Cape of Good Hope, and observing penguins and ostriches around the Peninsula. We were constantly in awe of the vast biodiversity of South Africa. We ended up with countless memories that we will remember for a lifetime. More

10 Things I’ve Learned from You
By Amelia Smith, Stanford Beach Volleyball and Max Feldman, Duke Men’s Soccer - #ACEinSouthAfrica

Max is always the first on the sports field tossing the rugby ball or kicking around the soccer ball with the kids. Sometimes it might be hard to see the impact you’ve made on those around you, but with Max, his impact on Nonzamo is clear when we see the children sprint towards him every day, pulling him to go play with them. More

Rain Dance
By Mitch Finesilver, Duke Wrestling and Justin Kang, Stanford Men’s Fencing - #ACEinVietnam

No one worried about soaking their clothes; no one worried about what lessons needed to be taught in the classroom; and no one worried about what was going to be for dinner that day. Rather, everyone was present and enjoying this little respite together. More

A Video Reflection from Gordon’s Bay, South Africa
By Taylor Lallas, Stanford Women's Tennis and Callie Humphrey, Duke Women's Lacrosse - #ACEinSouthAfrica

Although we seem to live very similar lives as student-athletes at highly competitive universities both athletically and academically, we both feel as though we have brought different sets of skills to Nomzamo. These differences are what have made our group strong and successful day in and day out. In this interview we wanted to go even further and truly understand each other’s different perspectives and opinions on our mission. More

Interview with a Chicagoan
By Anja Zehfuss, Stanford Women’s Rowing and Kayla McCoy, Duke Women’s Soccer - #ACEinSouthAfrica

Traveling all the way to South Africa for a civic engagement program, we never expected to meet someone from home. We had never met before, yet we had mutual friends, worked out at the same gym for the past four years, and live about 5 minutes away from each other. More

From FaceTime to Friends
By Josh Owsiany, Duke Men’s Swimming and Diving and Kaylie Mings, Stanford Field Hockey - #ACEinVietnam

Since that day, we each made an effort to spend more time together and see each other more. Now I feel just as close with Kaylie as I do with the other coaches. Talking the night of the Fourth truly changed our relationship and made me open my eyes in a way that prevented me of getting caught up in the same daily routine. More

Novelty Embedded Within a Familiar Routine
By Jake Koffman, Stanford Men's Track and Field and Eoin Gronningsater, Duke Men's Fencing - #ACEinVietnam

The kids have taught me that being a good role model is not only about being friends with the kids, but it is also about leading by example. I know that the kids look up to us, and it has become clear to me that everything that I do might impact the way that they act or the decisions they make. Being a role model brings with it a lot of responsibility, but it simultaneously presents an amazing opportunity; the opportunity to help point these children in the right direction so that they never doubt themselves or sell themselves short. More

Lessons Learned from Teaching English
By Anna Lee, Stanford Women's Fencing and Alyssa Marsh, Duke Women's Swimming - #ACEinVietnam

We scratched many of the original lesson plans and recreated them to focus on the basic foundations of the English language. Our focus was no longer to engrain different vocabulary and sentence structures in their minds; we wanted to lay a strong foundation for them to not only excel in the next school year but also gain the confidence and passion needed to pursue higher education. More

Hng, hng, hng… h báo!
By Sophia Solé, Stanford Women's Sailing and Jillian Wolgemuth, Duke Field Hockey - #ACEinVietnam

Even though they did well the first week, they learned so much more from the failure in Week Two. Regardless of how we finished we are still a team, and we finished with our team cheer 'Hồng (pink), hồng, hồng... hổ báo!' to lift their spirits. More