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Courtesy: Rubenstein-Bing Student-Athlete Civic Engagement (ACE) Program
2017 ACE Class Checks in From Abroad
Courtesy: Duke Sports Information
Release: 07/28/2017
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DURHAM, N.C. -- Each week this summer, student-athletes from Duke and Stanford are sharing reflections from their experiences with the ACE program. This week, the Duke and Stanford participants in South Africa wrote their final week of blog posts and the participants in China wrote their first week of blog posts.


"Brandon’s Shangri-La Food Review"
By Brandon Leynaud, Duke Men's Wrestling, ACE in China

"Cuisine is one of the main pillars that make up the structure of one’s culture. You can tell a lot about the culture in an area based on what the people in that culture eat. The cuisine that encompasses the Chinese Yunnan region is unique to anything I’ve seen in the US. American Chinese food is vastly different from what we’ve experienced in just our first week being in China."  More

"Lessons for a Lifetime"
By Christine Streisel, Duke Women's Track and Field, ACE in South Africa

"I struggle to begin to explain how this trip has made me feel and how it has changed me. ... I wanted to reach past my comfort zone, go head first into something that scared me and put me in situations that would make me uncomfortable. I wanted to face my timidness head on. Too often I have sat in my comfort zone, being content with monotony and familiarity. I have been afraid to reach past, to expose myself and allow myself to not care about being judged or watched. I wanted to be so invested in others and my work that I would not have time to think or care about such things."  More

"Somber Ends and New Beginnings"
By Jonathan Schwartzman, Duke Men's Fencing, ACE in Vietnam

"It is hard to put into words, into a short blog post, the feeling of connection I had developed with everyone in this program. The Vietnamese coaches taught me of a completely different culture and their views of the world left impressions on me that I will not soon lose. The American coaches helped me open up and feel close to people who are familiar with my situation, as we all came in the with the same naïveté . The directors were understanding and exciting, fostering a positive and safe environment. But the kids. The munchkins taught me about perseverance, strength, wonder. They took me to places I did not think I had the capacity to reach." More

For additional information on the ACE Program, visit

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