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ACE is more than just a one-time summer service experience, and every #ACEathlete creates an Action Plan to continue their public service throughout the year. While many #ACEathletes find one particular way to sustain a life of service, Sophia Sole (ACE in Vietnam, Stanford Women’s Sailing) has planned and led several different events throughout the year. The specific type of service she has performed in carrying out her Action Plan has varied with the seasons, but all these events have a common theme of elementary education.

student-athlete giving kid piggyback ride outside in the rain
Rain or shine, Sophia finds a way to give back and encourage others.

Trick or Tree(t)

During the fall after her ACE experience, Sophia visited to a first-grade class in East Palo Alto to lead activities that taught about healthy eating. The event was called “Reverse Trick or Tree(t),” and focused on teaching children about what it means to have a balanced diet. During one activity, she gave each student a paper with a drawing of a plate and demonstrated how to fill the plate with healthy foods. Not to spoil the Halloween fun, she also gave each student a piece of candy as a treat at the end of the activity.

A, B, Trees

During Winter Quarter, Sophia volunteered for A, B, Trees, which is an event to promote literacy in the Bay Area. At this event, children rotated among various reading-related stations and participated in a scavenger hunt. Sophia and the other volunteers also collected donations from local bookstores so that each child left the event with a book.

group of people in red shirts holding sign that reads a, b, trees on field
The A, B, Trees Team

Once Upon a Cause

Also during winter quarter, Sophia took a class called “Once Upon a Cause,” where she and her classmates worked with first-graders to create picture books. The students found making these books was both educational and fun. “My group wrote a book about a blueberry named Yellow that wanted to see the world outside the fridge,” she recalled. “Our book taught kids to stay curious.”

student-athlete and schoolchildren talking in a sports huddle
Sophia and her Coach For College group in Vietnam

What’s ahead for spring quarter?

“There are a lot of ACE participants on the community service team with me, and it is cool to talk about how our ACE experiences have influenced our involvement with the SAAC community service team.”

Sophia has found many of these service opportunities through her role on the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) community service team. As spring quarter gets underway, she will be looking for new ways to stay involved in the community. “Teaching and working with those kids was very rewarding and something that I want to continue doing in whatever way possible.”

In addition to finding service opportunities through SAAC to help carry out her Action Plan, Sophia has found that she is able to continue the ACE experience of reflecting on service with other ACEathletes on the committee. “There are a lot of ACE participants on the community service team with me, and it is cool to talk about how our ACE experiences have influenced our involvement with the SAAC community service team.”