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Nathaniel Hernandez

ACE in India: 2018
Duke University
Swimming and Diving (Men's)
Southlake, TX
Biology - Pharmacology
Minor(s) / Certificate(s)
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“This program is 100%, without-a-doubt worth it to me. I know that the experiences I have and the people I meet are going to change my life… I can’t wait!”

Nathaniel’s past experiences with service include tutoring elementary school children with Duke America Reads America Counts and advising younger student-athletes through the ACTION mentorship program. Nathaniel provides swimming lessons to the Durham community with Swimming with the Blue Devils, and recently had the opportunity to lead diving lessons for brand-new divers during the team’s winter Training Trip in Trinidad. Nathaniel is a Resident Assistant on-campus and currently serves as a Sophomore Class Representative and Athlete Ally Executive Board Member.

ACE Ambassador Profile

young male standing in front of taj mahal

Nathaniel is a junior for the Duke Swimming and Diving team from Southlake, TX. He is a captain of his team, president of Duke’s chapter of Athlete Ally, involved in various leadership development programs with Duke Athletics, and works as a Resident Assistant on campus, among other obligations. His time in India was spent in the city of New Delhi, primarily working in a drug rehabilitation center for juvenile delinquents operated by the organization SPYM.Volunteering abroad shifted his academic and professional goals. Now, Nathaniel wishes to conduct research into the causes and treatments for drug addiction. This aligns with his previous goal of working in the pharmaceutical industry, but thanks to his time in India, is now more specific. The ACE experience brought Nathaniel great insights, and he wishes to do his part in continuing to serve others in the same way that was encouraged throughout the program.

Want to hear more about Nathaniel’s ACE experience? Contact Nathaniel.

Dear Future #ACEathletes,

  • Best advice for learning about ACE: For selecting a program, I first looked at the ones that aligned with dates that I could work with over the summer, then I narrowed down programs based on my professional interests. Other people on my team had done ACE in the past, so I asked my coach for permission once I selected the program I was going to apply to!
  • Best advice for applying for ACE: The best thing that you can do is to really think hard about why you want to do ACE. Your enthusiasm for the program will shine in your application and interview if you have a strong conviction for wanting to do the program.
  • Best advice for getting started at your program: The first few days are all about adapting. I didn’t always know what to do, but I followed the instructions of my program directors.
  • Tips for getting to know your community: With volunteer work as special as this kind, it is very hard not to get close with the people you are working with! My advice on building the best relationships with your community are just to be respectful of the culture you are in, and to always ask what they want from you.
  • Tips for training: The most motivating thing for staying in shape abroad is to not do it alone. Challenge your other ACE participants to come with you to the gym, or always say yes if they ask you to join!
  • Tips for bringing ACE back to your team: Right when the school year got started, the six swimmers and divers that participated in ACE 2018 shared a PowerPoint that we made with our team and coaches. I remember that the ACE 2017 teammates did the same for us and it was a huge motivator to get me to apply!
  • Reasons for staying involved in ACE: I choose to stay involved in ACE because it is truly unlike anything I have ever experienced. It is something that I will never get tired of talking about, and hopefully those listening can get something out of it.