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Amelia Smith

ACE in South Africa: 2018
Stanford University
Beach Volleyball (Women's)
San Jose, CA
Human Biology
Minor(s) / Certificate(s)
Earth Systems
Amelia’s Blog Posts from ACE in South Africa: 2018
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“Exploring the world, its peoples, its cultures, and its ways of life, have always been an important part of my life. This once-in-a-lifetime ACE program provides me with the opportunity to pursue that value of mine while surrounded by other inspiring and dedicated athletes.”

Amelia’s past experiences with service include organizing clothing and computer drives for schools in Ecuador and Costa Rica, as well as working with Live Oak Adult Day Services, an organization that fosters relationships with the elderly. Amelia has also coached with AYSO VIP, an organization where differently abled children learn important life skills such as teamwork and leadership. Finally, Amelia volunteered to act as her dorm building’s Lounge Manager.

ACE Ambassador Profile

woman pointing to snowy mountain

Amelia, a sophomore on the Women’s Beach Volleyball team, aims to major in Human Biology and minor in Earth Systems. With many past experiences of traveling to Central and South America to study Spanish and become fully immersed in cultures foreign to her own, she was ecstatic at the opportunity to transfer those skills, understanding, and wisdom to South Africa. Working with the children and women in South Africa, Amelia learned much about the power of collaboration, the contagiousness of smiles, and how impactful service work can be on the giver and receiver. Leaving South Africa enriched with new perspectives, she hopes to inspire more Stanford athletes to serve others through programs like ACE and she looks forward to continuing and growing the legacy of ACE athletes.

Want to hear more about Amelia’s ACE experience? Contact Amelia.

Dear Future #ACEathletes,

  • Best advice for learning about ACE: For me, the choice of South Africa was based on which culture I thought would be the most different from the rest of my experiences. Getting as many worldly perspectives as I can is a big value of mine and ACE gave me the perfect opportunity for gaining that knowledge.
  • Best advice for applying for ACE: To make sure I had a strong application, past ACE participants on my team read through my essay to perfect my responses.
  • Best advice for getting started at your program: I was the last group member to get into South Africa, so the first meeting with the entire rest of the group was awkward because the rest of them had already had the day to bond. But everyone was so welcoming and kind that it was easy to automatically become part of the group the very next day. In the first few days, it is very important to lean on each other for support as everyone is a little lost and confused not only from the time change but also being in a completely new environment.
  • Tips for getting to know your community: Building relationships with the community is extremely important. In South Africa, the children were so excited to see us that it was easy to just reciprocate the enthusiasm.
  • Tips for training: A great thing that our group did to train is share our workout programs. Everyone had a blast training each day as an athlete in a different sport. Not only was this great bonding time but it also gave me perspectives about how other athletes work out.
  • Tips for bringing ACE back to your team: In the short two months I’ve been back, I have talked endlessly to teammates and anyone who would listen about my time in South Africa. Spilling out never ending praises for this program, many student-athletes have become interested in applying. I am very excited to read through the applications of girls on my team and helping them through the process.
  • Reasons for staying involved in ACE: I am eternally grateful for the ACE program and the amazing generosity of Mr. and Mrs. Bing. Those three weeks in South Africa were the best in my life and I could not be more thankful that Stanford has allowed me this opportunity.