“It’s not everyday that you get to share with others your love for sports and step outside your comfort zone in a different country. The exposure to a different culture and country in a program like this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that I couldn’t pass up.”
Jordan Fong’s past experience with service includes volunteering for sports camps through her high school and club teams, packing meals for Thanksgiving with her church, serving at a men’s homeless shelter, and organizing a giving tree at her high school.
Jordan is currently a sophomore on the Women’s Track and Field team. She is from Kent, Washington and participated in ACE in China 2019. She chose ACE because she thought it was the perfect opportunity to experience a new culture first hand and to share her love for sports. While in China she found her passion for working with children and coaching. After returning home, Jordan is looking forward to volunteering more in the community by mentoring and coaching kids. She hopes to some day work her passion for volunteering into her professional life after Stanford.
Want to hear more about Jordon’s ACE experience? Contact Jordon.
Dear Future #ACEathletes,
- Best advice for learning about ACE: To learn about ACE I would suggest attending the info sessions and talking with team members or ambassadors that have done ACE to get first hand experience. I would also say read some of the blogs that were written by the participants to see what the program itself is like. I made sure that they knew that I was willing to work hard and to give my whole self to this experience. Pretty much just be yourself and show them how authentic you are and what you bring to the table.
- Best advice for getting started at your program: The first few days are tough but wake up with a can-do attitude and maybe drink some coffee, warning it’s very different from coffee here, but you will be jet lagged and the program wastes no time to immerse you into the culture. So just be excited and ready to go with a positive attitude. Definitely take time to talk with your other teammates and staff because everyone has an interesting story to tell. Also 100% play some pick up games with your teammates and workout together, you get to know people really well when you are being competitive or sweating through a tough workout.
- Tips for getting to know your community: Avoid using social media and checking in on what everyone is doing at home because you miss out on some enlightening conversations that way. It’s going to be difficult sometimes to communicate because you speak different languages but body language and a smile go a long way to when you are trying to learn about your community. There will be translators there to help you but you should definitely try to communicate on your own. I think that going through ACE has made me a better listener because it was harder to communicate.
- Tips for training: I did workouts outside on a yoga mat or on the pavement. The program tries to give you time to workout everyday so I would say use that to your advantage and sometimes use your gym time to explore the trails and such around the center. Don’t go to hard because you have to remember that you are at a very high altitude and it’s harder to do workouts (going up the stairs might leave you with heavy breathing). You have access to a gym a couple times a week and since my training included lifting I would really hone in and get the most out of going to the gym. Although I would say the best workouts are the ones where a bunch of us would get together and do a session of one of our workouts and it was really fun to learn about what other student-athletes do for training.
- Tips for bringing ACE back to your team: I gushed to my teammates for a while about everything I did and posted a lot of pictures and such to share with everyone how amazing the experience was for me. Bringing my experiences from ACE back to campus definitely changed my perspective of how I could better my team and my community either by going and doing service or getting others excited to apply for ACE. I think coming back I was more passionate about what I did and whatever I wanted to do next. ACE kind of lit a fire in me that wasn’t there before.
- Reasons for staying involved in ACE: I decided to stay involved in ACE because this program is truly life changing. I had never considered service to be such a big part of my life as it really was. And ACE helped me find my passion for working with kids and coaching and I’m so glad I found what I love. I would also really like to help the next ACE class have an amazing experience because you only get to do this once.