Participating in the ACE in China program this summer is worth it to me because it will widen my perspective on environmental and educational issues that occur in different parts of the world. I really wanted to find a way to give back, and this program will help me do so.
As part of the ACE in China program, participants will contribute to the sustainable development of underserved communities through youth environmental education and sports while learning about conservation and preservation in Yunnan Province.
Amanda’s past experiences with service include tutoring East Palo Alto students in math through Preschool Counts and membership in the Cap and Gown women’s leadership initiative. Since returning from ACE in China, Amanda has also joined Ravenswood Reads, an education-centered Cardinal Course.
Dear Future #ACEathletes,
- Best advice for learning about ACE: When selecting a program,I would definitely look through the ACE website and all of the different programs to see which one interests you the most. For instance, I chose China because I have never been there before and I saw that they focused a bit more on the environment. Also, going to the different info sessions and hearing the other ACE ambassadors talk about their own programs really helped me with my decision. Talking to my teammates and looking up the different programs online definitely helped me.
- Best advice for applying for ACE: When you are applying for ACE, make sure to have done your research on the specific program you want to go on. Knowing what you are applying for exactly will help you specialize your application. Before applying, I took a service learning class. I think that showed that I was interested in serving and I wanted to continue my commitment towards public service. I felt that I was relatively open in my application, and told them what I was passionate about, even about how excited I was to travel to a new place.
- Best advice for getting started at your program: At the beginning of the program, I was still filled with amazement by my incredible surroundings. I was so excited to look around and understand the culture. Luckily, during the China program, we were able to do so. One thing I would recommend is to first get acclimated with your environment. For us, that included not working out intensely until we adjusted to the high altitude. What really made my experience was definitely the group. In the beginning, we spent a good amount of time talking and reflecting with each other.That included playing games, wearing face masks, and just hanging out late at night. Often times it was difficult to measure success. But, it is important to remember that even if a day didn’t go as well as you’d hoped, any help is good help.
- Tips for getting to know your community: I think that being open with how you are feeling to your other members will really help strengthen the relationships. Really listening to what everyone is saying and playing games helps a lot. Reflecting at the end of the day and understanding how each of the members work helps the team work better together. Being open to different ideas, reaching out to others, and trying new things really helps in terms of integrating oneself into the new community. Because of the trip, I am not as afraid to try new things. I feel more comfortable reaching out and learning more about my surroundings.
- Tips for training: The China program was stationed in a high altitude area, so doing less intense activities such as light jogs still helped. We used our extra time to work out around the center and even got to go to the gym every once in a while. It was a lot of fun seeing how each of the different athletes worked out for their specific sport. The training was both a good time for me to reflect on my own, and a great way to bond with others. Either way I felt like it was a win-win situation.