Being a compassionate global citizen is imperative in our world today. The ACE program provides an unparalleled opportunity for student-athletes to connect with another community halfway across the world.
As part of the ACE in South Africa program, participants will assist with basic healthcare initiatives, activity-based education and teaching, light construction, and sports programs in the community of Nomzamo township near Cape Town.
Teaghan’s past experiences include participating in community service as part of her International Baccalaureate program in high school. Volunteering through coaching the sport she loves, softball, was one her most rewarding endeavors as she saw how amazing it was to experience how empowering and transformative athletics can be for children.
Teaghan Cowles is a sophomore on the Stanford Softball Team and is a biomechanical engineering major from Ridgefield, Washington. After graduation she plans to rack up student loans by staying in school for as long as humanly possible. In addition to engineering, she plans to minor in comparative literature in order to gain a leg up on family Jeopardy competitions. Spending time in South Africa’s complicated racial, economic, and political climate allowed her to look with fresh eyes upon her own country and the world at large. This compelled Teaghan to diversify her education to include courses focusing on other countries and cultures. The ACE program also emphasized to her the importance of supporting and participating in women’s empowerment programs within education and the sciences.
Want to hear more about Teaghan’s ACE experience? Contact Teaghan.
Dear Future #ACEathletes,
- Best advice for learning about ACE: Talk to ambassadors! Get to know what the focus and schedule of the programs are to decide which one fits for you.
- Best advice for applying for ACE: Make sure you emphasize experiences in your life where you had to adapt and change your worldview. Managing expectations for not only service but of your place in someone else’s community is extremely important in the ACE program.
- Best advice for getting started at your program: Take advantage of the first meals and the downtime of the first day or so; go on a hike, explore the community (safely), and learn about the location but most importantly talk to your fellow ACE members! You guys are going to have an amazing time so start building those bonds asap!
- Tips for getting to know your community: I just let people educate me and not push anyone or correct people on what I thought was right. Ask lots of respectful questions and the response you get will be positive.
- Tips for training: Use your training time as a time to refocus yourself after emotionally depleting days. It’s nice to build that hour into your routine and have some consistency in a new place.
- Reasons for staying involved in ACE: I love it, the people and the program itself was such an integral part of my Stanford journey thus far.