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The Rubenstein-Bing Student-Athlete Civic Engagement (ACE) Program is entering its eighth year in 2023. This summer after a three-year pause due to COVID-19, ACE will return to in-person, international programming with three sites located in South Africa, Vietnam, and a new program in Costa Rica. In addition, ACE will continue to offer two virtual international service programs.

In a partnership with Stanford, the ACE Program provides funding for accepted Duke and Stanford student-athletes to participate in three-week, immersive summer service experiences with an international community partner. The program is made possible by the generous support of David Rubenstein and Peter and Helen Bing. One dollar of every ticket sold by Duke Athletics also goes to support the Duke ACE student-athlete participants.

ACE Summer 2023 Experience

This summer marks an important year for the ACE program as we will return to international programming after a three-year pause due to the COVID-19 pandemic. ACE is excited to bring student-athletes from Duke and Stanford back into the field with three international programs located in South Africa, Vietnam, and Costa Rica (a brand-new ACE program location). Participants will have the opportunity to engage in a number of service projects related to sustainable development, conservation, education and coaching, women’s empowerment, and more.

Additionally, ACE will continue to offer virtual international service experiences for Summer 2023 with two virtual ACE in Place programs focused on supporting community-based organizations located in South Africa and Thailand. Virtual programs provide a flexible option for student-athletes – who may be unable to travel due to training, internships, or classes – to engage in meaningful service experiences. ACE in Place participants also have the opportunity to participate in an in-person ACE experience in future summers.

ACE will begin accepting applications from Duke and Stanford student-athletes who wish to participate in these immersive, three-week volunteer service programs on Dec. 7, 2023.

This summer’s programs are a result of the efforts of the ACE staff, ACE Ambassador Alumni, and community partners working together to bring ACE back to in-person, international programming as well as continuing to provide flexible virtual service experiences. ACE is excited to offer Duke and Stanford student-athletes the opportunity to participate in both in-person, international and virtual international experiences where they will work on collaborative service projects, form relationships across the Duke and Stanford athletic community, and connect with community partners around the world.

When are they going and what are they doing?

ACE in South Africa (in-person): June 23 – July 14

Student-athletes will contribute to self-empowerment and sustainable development projects in communities around Cape Town through educational workshops and support local outreach and educational awareness programs.

*NEW* ACE in Costa Rica (in-person): June 16 – July 7

Student-athletes will contribute to the long-term management and conservation of Cahuita National Park and lead education-focused workshops to local community members in the Costa Rican village of Cahuita.

ACE in Vietnam (in-person): June 22 – July 16

Student-athletes will partner with Vietnamese college students to teach academics, sports, and life skills at a summer camp to middle school youth in rural Vietnam, with a focus on mentorship and promoting higher education.

ACE in Place South Africa (virtual): June 26 – July 14

Student-athletes will virtually support environmentally and socially responsible enterprises in South Africa with a focus on sustainable and ethical initiatives.

ACE in Place Thailand (virtual): June 25 – July 13

Student-athletes will virtually support Shark Guardian’s mission to advance the conservation of sharks and the natural environment through conservation and education in Thailand and around the world.

In Students’ Words:

The following are reflections from past participants’ experiences and their thoughts on the return to in-person international programs:

“I am so excited to see ACE return to in-person programming this summer. I still reflect on the value of my ACE in Place experience and know that this ACE class will change the world both abroad and within their communities. This group of students will have a fantastic opportunity to better themselves and those around them through life changing programs.”

Anthony Hinton, Duke Football, ACE in Place Vietnam 2021

“I’m incredibly excited for the return of in-person programs, as I know how much of an impact my in-person experience in Peru had for me. Getting the opportunity to spend 3 weeks in another community is a truly immeasurable experience and is one that I will never forget. I’m awaiting the day I can go back and visit Peru! I can’t wait to share my experience with prospective student-athletes and show them all of the incredible reasons to apply for ACE this year.”

Emily Schultz, Stanford Softball, ACE in Peru 2019

Important Dates

More information about each of these events can be found at and

  • November 16: Info Session at Duke and Stanford (in-person)
  • December 7: 2023 ACE Application live
  • December 7: Virtual Info Session
  • January 18: Info Session at Duke and Stanford (in-person)
  • February 1: Application deadline (due at 12pm PST/3pm EST)
  • March 8: Selected students notified
  • April/May: 2023 ACE Participants announced

Connect with Us

  • ACE Website: and
  • Instagram: DukeStanfordACE; @ACEathletes
  • Facebook: Rubenstein-Bing Student-Athlete Civic Engagement Program; @dukestanfordACE
  • Twitter: Duke & Stanford ACE Program; @ACEathletes
  • YouTube: Rubenstein-Bing Student-Athlete Civic Engagement (ACE) Program
  • LinkedIn: The Rubenstein-Bing Student-Athlete Civic Engagement Program (ACE)
  • ACE Summer 2023 Hashtags: #ACEathletes, #ACEinVietnam, #ACEinSouthAfrica, #ACEinCostaRica, #ACEinPlaceSouthAfrica, #ACEinPlaceThailand, #ACEinPlace