“The ACE program is an opportunity to make a positive impact within a community while learning about a different culture. Through diverse perspectives and experiences, I hope to learn more about myself and the impact I can have as a student-athlete.”
Mike Ungvarsky’s past experience with service includes building homes with Habitat for Humanity and serving meals and handing out clothing through Feeding5000.
Mike is a junior on the Duke Cross Country and Track and Field teams. He is majoring in Public Policy and completing a Markets & Management Certificate. The South Africa program was the perfect opportunity for Mike to experience another culture and engage in service. Working for an NGO focused on sustainable development provided Mike experience that aligns with his academic and career interests. He is looking forward to contributing as an ACE Ambassador to help future participants be prepared for an incredible experience that will change their perspective and increase their passion for service.
Want to hear more about Mike’s ACE experience? Contact Mike.
Dear Future #ACEathletes,
- Best advice for learning about ACE: Attend info sessions to hear more about the programs and when each step of the application is due. Ask ACE alumni about their experience to learn more about each trip and the impact it had on them.
- Best advice for getting started at your program: Working together with your ACE teammates is a great way to get acclimated to the first few days of work. There are definitely some nerves, but when you work together you will pick it up much quicker and get very comfortable running the children’s sports camp.
- Tips for getting to know your community: Try your best to learn some useful Xhosa phrases because it is valuable to show you are making an effort to speak their first language and the children will really be amazed when you use some phrases. If you are friendly and try to get to know people in the community, you will quickly from close bonds with so many incredible people.
- Tips for training: We got involved in each others’ training and participated in each others’ workouts. We also did core together every day and learned new exercises in the process.
- Tips for bringing ACE back to your team: Getting teammates to apply to ACE and sharing your experience with them is invaluable. It’s also a great idea to get your team involved in service in Durham to be active in the community and bond with your teammates.
- Reasons for staying involved in ACE: This program provided the most fulfilling and valuable three weeks of my life so I want to stay active so that I can help future participants have that type of experience. ACE also may have changed my career path and interests so I owe a lot to the program.