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.
Dear Future #ACEathletes,
- Best advice for applying for ACE: Be open and honest about what you want to accomplish during your time with ACE! The number one priority to make the most of your experience is to be energetic and adaptable.
- Best advice for getting started at your program : Focus on build relationships with your fellow student-athletes, on-site leaders, and host community members. You will remember these friendships and memories long after your three week service is finished.
- Tips for getting to know your community: Listen and observe as much as possible. It can be overwhelming the first few days, but learning how another community operates can help you better understand how your own functions.
- Tips for training: ACE does a phenomenal job of providing facilities and scheduling adequate time to train. Check in with ACE ambassadors from your program to know if there is any equipment that will not be available to you and then ask your trainer to borrow the equipment for the trip.