Working with others through the ACE program, while immersed in a community so different from the one I live in, will teach me skills that I will use for the rest of my life.
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.
Max’s past experiences with service include volunteering with his team at the Urban Ministries Soup Kitchen, teaching less privileged students in Durham how to swim through “Swimming with the Blue Devils,” and welcoming a child with a life-threatening disease, also named Max, into the Duke Swimming & Diving family as part of Project Impact.
Max is a Junior on the Duke Swimming and Diving Team, majoring in Economics and minoring in Japanese. He grew up in the Western Suburbs of Chicago and enjoyed traveling and experiencing new cultures with his family as a child. Therefore, a service trip to China seemed very appealing to him. During his time there, Max and nine other student athletes held a sports and English learning camp for the kids in Zhondian. While there, he learned about Tibetan culture and China through first-hand experiences. Because of his trip, Max has improved as a collaborator and thus has become a better leader. Furthermore, he brought back a new perspective of the world that he is sharing with other Duke students.
Want to hear more about Max’s ACE experience? Contact Max.
Dear Future #ACEathletes,
- Best advice for learning about ACE: I talked to an ACE ambassador (Anna Quinn) about the trip. She is on my team so it was easy to get in touch.
- Best advice for applying for ACE: I spent a lot of time on the essays and had a friend edit them. This opportunity is definitely worth more than any other amount of time you will spend on the application process.
- Best advice for getting started at your program: My first days were very interesting. The ACE leaders and program staff were very helpful in getting you acclimated.Just make sure you do what you are told and go into it with a very open mind. You will always have chunks of free time so get to know the other people you are working with.
- Tips for getting to know your community: Learn about the social norms of the culture first (there will be a lesson on it on-site). After that just blend in and do your best to communicate with others in the community. I try to be more outgoing and friendly with people as a result of being in the community at Shangri la.
- Tips for training: We were given 2 hours almost every single day to work out, and people brought simple things such as TRX. There is access to gyms but also be creative and try new things.