I am thrilled to be participating in this ACE program because it offers an opportunity for me to use my skills to promote environmental interests, to continue my passion for community service, and to experience China’s geography and culture. Not only will I have the opportunity to volunteer abroad, I will meet and work with local Chinese university students as well as with Duke and Stanford student-athletes in an environment focused on civic engagement.”
As part of the ACE in China program, Isabel will contribute to the sustainable development of underserved communities through youth environmental education and sports while learning about conservation and preservation in Yunnan Province.
Isabel’s past experiences with service include involvement in the Environmental Alliance and Duke Panhellenic Association.
Anna is a senior on the Duke Swim Team from Southern California. She a pre-med student majoring in Biology with a minor in Chemistry and is involved in the Collegiate Athlete Premedical Experience on campus. In between classes and practice, Anna works at the Pulmonary Division and volunteers at Bull City Fit. In China, she helped lead a sports and English camp for the local children at the China Exploration and Research Society and worked at a non-profit farm in Old Town Shangri-La. Anna brought back different cultural perspectives that have influenced her values and appreciation for the opportunities at home and at Duke.
This past summer, Anna continued her passion for civic engagement and created an independent Duke Engage project in the Seychelles with Global Vision International. Her focus was on wildlife and environment conservation and worked with several endemic species including the Aldabra giant tortoises and the Coco de Mer palms. She completed field research looking at the densities and trends of the sea grass and sea urchins surrounding Curieuseisland. After she graduates in 2018, Anna plans to work abroad, possibly in South America, in a rural community with a focus on either public health or wildlife conservation.
Want to hear more about Isabel’s ACE experience? Contact Isabel.
Dear Future #ACEathletes,
- Best advice for learning about ACE: Select the program that most intrigues you and that you can imagine yourself in! When I learned about the China program, I instantly knew that was the one I wanted togo on because of the environmental focus and the unique program aspects. The most important thing to do when choosing where to apply to is to go to every information session –China was actually ranked last for me until I went to the information session. After that, I knew it was the one I wanted to go on the most!
- Best advice for applying for ACE: Be genuine and thoughtful! By giving your application the most personal and accurate information, you are going to end up with the best result. What I feel made my application successful was focusing on what I was passionate about and what I could bring to the program.
- Best advice for getting started at your program: Getting acclimated to the time change and altitude was difficult, but remembering that I only had 3 weeks and was given an amazing opportunity, I had to push myself for the first few days to really make the most of it. Getting to know my fellow ACE participants really made it easier to get into the swing of the program, and I felt the more we got to knoweachother, the more successful we were as a group. We often measured success by the reactions of the people we worked with, and if they were thankful for our time and help.
- Tips for getting to know your community: The program we were with (the China Exploration and Research Society) made it easy to build relationships with the community. As well, pushing yourself to have conversations or to interact with members of the community was important in making a connection. Making relationships in China taught me how a little can go a long way, for example, small gestures or conversations can make any relationship that much stronger.
- Tips for training : As a rower, fitness was really important to maintain while away for 3 weeks. Luckily, at altitude, training in Shangri-La put me at an advantage. By running and doing body weight circuits with my fellow ACE participants, there were a lot of training opportunities. We were always given about 1.5 hours every day to train and working out with everyone definitely brought us closer during our first few days.