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Mikaela Watson

ACE in China: 2018
Stanford University
Lacrosse (Women's)
Philadelphia, PA
Product Design (intended)
Mikaela’s Blog Posts from ACE in China: 2018
Profile View Mikaela’s Student-Athlete profile on

“There is no time during the school year to travel abroad, and very little time for service. This program is an amazing opportunity to get both and experience a whole different part of the world.”

Mikaela’s past experiences with service include volunteering with Cradles to Crayons, an organization that provides children with the key items needed to thrive at no charge, and serving as a Freshmen Intern for Stanford’s Black Student Union. Mikaela also serves alongside her teammates by advocating for One Love, a campaign committed to educating people on relationship abuse. Stanford Women’s lacrosse is currently participating in “Yards for Yeardley,” a nationwide campaign to raise awareness about relationship violence.

Dear Future #ACEathletes,

  • Best advice for learning about ACE: Talk to past ACE participants and ACE Ambassadors about their experiences. They have the firsthand stories to share to help you learn about parts of the program that you can’t find online.
  • Best advice for applying for ACE: Once you decide which program you will apply for, read the full descriptions on the ACE website, and do your research about all aspects of the program. This will help to ensure that you are qualified and that you can highlight your personal strengths that lend themselves to that program.
  • Best advice for getting started at your program: Be as flexible in your plans and as open to meeting your fellow participants as possible. It is likely that things won’t go exactly according to plan, especially in the beginning, so having an open mindset is key.
  • Tips for getting to know your community: Mealtimes are a great opportunity to learn about your peers and group leaders. We usually spent this time swapping stories and talking about our interests.
  • Tips for training: Almost every day has workout time built into the schedule, and being at altitude makes the training even better. I would often go on runs with other participants, or lift and do agility work when we went to the gym in town.
  • Tips for bringing ACE back to your team: I have talked with many of my teammates about what a great experience ACE in China was. It gave me a whole new level of appreciation for living in the present and enjoying the moment.
  • Reasons for staying involved in ACE: ACE was a transformative experience where I learned in depth about a new culture and community. It gave me a new perspective on the world and how I fit into it. Now, I am committed to helping others have meaningful experiences as well.