As both an athlete and human biology student, ACE in South Africa is an exciting opportunity for personal development through immersion in an unfamiliar and rich culture. One aspect that particularly stands out to me is the face-to-face interaction with kids through sport and academics.
As part of the ACE in South Africa program, participants will assist with basic healthcare initiatives, activity-based education and teaching, light construction, and sports programs in the community of Nomzamo township near Cape Town.
Julia’s past experiences with service include research on and management of intervention programs for children of parents with lifetime eating disorders or obesity; tutoring local elementary students through Ravenswood Reads; and membership in Kappa Kappa Gamma Women’s Fraternity.
Julia is a current senior at Stanford University and a former player on the Field Hockey Team. She’s majoring in Human Biology with a concentration in Women’s Reproductive Health. Spending her summer volunteering in South Africa was her first culturally immersive experience. As a student focusing in global health, the ACE program was an ideal opportunity to work hands on with a Nomzamo township to promote sport education, women’s empowerment, and sustainability. Through her experience engaging in a culturally and historically enriched country, Julia is excited to continue to learn about and pursue a career in global women’s health.
Want to hear more about Julia’s ACE experience? Contact Julia.
Dear Future #ACEathletes,
- Best advice for learning about ACE: Check out the dates for each program while looking at any obligations you have other the summer (ie. preseason, coaching a camp). Do research on each program you can potential participate in and talk to former ACE participants. Utilize the information sessions on campus and check out ACE instagram page for pictures detailing each program.
- Best advice for applying for ACE: Get started on your application EARLY. Make sure to answer each question thoughtfully. Don’t be afraid to ask for help! ACE ambassadors want to help future ACE candidates.
- Best advice for getting started at your program: Embrace the uncomfortable. You and your ACE team are in it together! Overcoming personal challenges are how learn more about yourself and others.
- Tips for getting to know your community: Do research before hand to try and understand the history of the country you are visiting before your trip.
- Tips for training: Make sure your coaches and trainers are aware of your participation in the ACE program. Bring anything you think might be necessary that your program’s workout facilities may not have. For example, my team does a lot of band resistance training so I brought bands with me thinking that our gym in South Africa probably wouldn’t have them.
- Tips for bringing ACE back to your team: Talk to people! Past participants, ACE ambassadors, and potential future applicants. Sharing the ACE experience will help you develop new relationships, continue to reflect on your experience, and spread the word of ACE.
- Reasons for staying involved in ACE: ACE is a one of a kind experience for student athletes and it provided me with an experience I will never forget. This service learning opportunity is one that continues to impact me on a day to day basis and made me a more conscious and active member of society.