“Participating in ACE in Vietnam this summer will immerse me in a different culture and allow me to bring knowledge and skills back to campus to continue to have an impact. Softball has allowed me to apply myself in many different realms, but this program is especially worth the commitment because it is by far the most memorable and meaningful.”
Peyton St. George’s past experience with service includes weekly volunteer work at the Durham Nursing Rehabilitation Center and facilitating dozens of softball-related camps and clinics. Her team is also involved in Habitat for Humanity, Badges for Baseball, Cal Ripken Jr. College Day events, and local Durham parks and retirement homes.
Peyton is a junior on the softball team at Duke. She is a native of Richmond, VA majoring in Psychology with the hope to pursue a career in business or athletics after college. She wants to be able to have an effect on student-athletes like people have had an effect on her in her time at Duke. She participated in the 2019 ACE in Vietnam program where she taught English and baseball to 6th and 7th-grade students. While in Vietnam, Peyton enjoyed having the opportunity to introduce a sport she is passionate about to Vietnamese kids and watch them develop their skills and competitiveness over the course of 3 weeks. Building life-long relationships with Stanford student-athletes and Vietnamese college students was an experience that will always be extremely valuable to Peyton. The things she learned in Vietnam will always stick with her as she continues her day to day life.
Want to hear more about Peyton’s ACE experience? Contact Peyton.
Dear Future #ACEathletes,
- Best advice for learning about ACE: I reached out to a few other athletes that had gone to Vietnam in the years prior and soaked up as much information that I could through info sessions and the website especially.
- Best advice for getting started at your program: The best advice I can give is to go into this experience with absolutely no expectations. The first few days were a little challenging and both mentally and physically exhausting but once you get into a routine and start to build relationships with the people around you, everything goes smoothly! I measured progress by the number of kids who I interacted with weekly, trying to increase that number every day.
- Tips for getting to know your community: Being able to step out of your comfort zone and open to try all new things that you are faced with will help immerse you fully in the community. I had never realized how little Americans share things until I was in Vietnam, it is important to share yourself and be vulnerable even with strangers!
- Tips for training: The training situation in Vietnam isn’t the most ideal but having other student-athletes to train with made it a lot easier. Even the days we did bodyweight exercises we made the most out of. There are a lot more ways to get in your exercise for your sport than you think!
- Tips for bringing ACE back to your team: I have tried to share my experience with as many people as I can, and even brought back a lot of souvenirs for some teammates and my coaches. The ACE experience overall has given me a new perspective on my sport because we often take for granted the resources we have at a school like Duke and I am always grateful for the little things. Building relationships with the kids in Vietnam has pushed me to be the best possible version of myself on and off the field.
- Reasons for staying involved in ACE: It is hard to put into words how this experience has impacted me overall. Vietnam will always be something that I carry with me for the rest of my life and I hope I can lead other student-athletes to have the same opportunity that I did. The program is three weeks, but it lasts a lifetime.