The moment I walked onto campus, I knew I wanted to participate in a program that would allow me to travel abroad and positively impact people’s lives. The challenge was finding the time to do it. The moment I heard about ACE, I applied right away. Opportunities like this do not come around often. Because ACE caters specifically to student-athletes, it is the perfect way to spend three weeks out of my summer.
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.
Rodney’s past experiences with service include representing his peers as assistant to his dorm’s president and coordinator. He is interested in getting more involved with dorm government but is constrained by frequent road trips for basketball.
Rodney Herentonis a sophomore on the Basketball Team at Stanford. He plans on studying International Relations and Economics. Rodney had the opportunity to participate in the ACE program in India this past summer. At the Vidya school outside of New Delhi, he taught English and sports to the children. ACE in India was Rodney’s first trip overseas. He chose this program because he believed it would the most challenging and the most impactful for him. His immersion has been beneficial in developing communication skills, cultural competence, cultural understanding, and leadership that he plans to bring back to the classroom, share with friends, family, and teammates, and continue to use in his life after Stanford.
Dear Future #ACEathletes,
- Best advice for learning about ACE: I heard about ACE a week before the application deadline. When I heard about ACE, I did some research and immediately told my coach about it and applied. I attended the final info session to learn more about the program. I decided to apply for the program in India for two reasons: the dates worked perfectly around my basketball schedule and teaching is something that I really wanted to do.
- Best advice for applying for ACE: My best advice for applying would be to express your passion and a moment in your life that has been memorable for you. Your passion for service and intent is more important than listing a plethora of past achievements to prove your passion. Be genuine. On my application, I focused on my family and my city. My family and city have shaped me into the person I am today and are responsible for my passions and what I view as important in this world.
- Best advice for getting started at your program: The first several days were tiring. The time difference affects some people more than others. As you learn more about the new environment, you grow closer with your teammates. As soon as we got our itinerary, brainstorming and lesson planning takes place. Relationships also grow with walks around the neighborhood and workouts at the gym.
- Tips for getting to know your community: We built relationships simply by being curious. We wanted to know more about their lives of the Indian people and vice versa. We learned how to navigate our community rather quickly.Some people are adventurous than others but we tried to explore as a group more often than not.Integrating into the community made us appreciate what we have back home. We often reflected on our blessings and what we would no longer take for granted.
- Tips for training: At first, it is difficult to wake up early and workout to start the day. As your body adjusts to the time, working out in the morning becomes a routine. Training in the morning is easy to balance and does not get in the way of the other daily requirements. Training with the other athletes just allows you grow even closer to them.