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Hailee Hoffman was a member of the Stanford Women’s Gymnastics team and graduated from Stanford in 2019 majoring in product design. Five years ago, she participated in ACE in China during the summer of 2017.  Looking back on ACE and her time since, Hoffman reflects on what ACE means to her and how her time with ACE continues to impact her today.

What are you doing now? How did ACE influence your career?

I am currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering at the University of British Columbia. ACE gave me the opportunity to expand my worldly perspective and begin making international relationships. I often think about my time during the ACE program, and I really hope someday I can return to Shangri-La and visit our community partners and friends again.

What was the most meaningful part of your ACE experience?

Some of the most impactful parts of my ACE experience came from the conversations I had with the people who so graciously hosted us. I loved hearing about their life experiences and sharing mine, making genuine friendships and finding connection points from two very different walks of life.

woman hugging dog
I was finally able to adopt a dog last summer. Now I spend my days hanging out with Poppy

Share a lesson you learned from your ACE experience that still holds true today:

Wherever you go, bring an open-mind and have empathy in your heart.

Describe your ACE experience in as few words as possible.

A life-changing 3 weeks!

What’s one thing you want people to know about ACE?

ACE is truly one-of-a-kind. If you have the opportunity to do an ACE program, definitely take it!

What’s your hope for the future of ACE? What advice do you have for future ACE participants?

I hope the ACE program has the resources it needs to continue arranging their programs. For future participants, take TONS of pictures and make sure to get your community’s contact information so you can stay in touch.