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Courtesy: Rubenstein-Bing Student-Athlete Civic Engagement (ACE) Program
2018 ACE Class Checks In From Abroad
Courtesy: Duke Sports Information
Release: 08/01/2018
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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. Check out the latest program blogs from the Blue Devils abroad.


Time Really Does Fly by When You are Having Fun
By Josh Owsiany, Duke Men's Swimming & Diving - #ACEinVietnam

This second point may sound cliché, but I am a firm believer that “time really does fly by when you are having fun.” I have learned this through previous experiences. Yet again, this axiom holds true. Even on days when the kids were being difficult or frustrating at times, there was always something that made me smile and subconsciously confirm that my time here was making a difference. More

Leaving Vietnam
By Eoin Gronningsater, Duke Men's Fencing - #ACEinVietnam

The rural countryside of Vietnam is one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been, but what makes the country so special is the people in it. I will dearly miss all of the Vietnamese and American coaches and administrators that I had the opportunity to work alongside, but I can confidently say that what I will miss most is the children. They have left their mark on me, and I’ll never forget them. More

Sit Down, Be Humble
By Mitch Finesilver, Duke Wrestling - #ACEinVietnam

Additionally, my ACE experience helped me realize the struggles teachers and educators go through to effectively connect with their students and to have a positive impact on their lives. I don’t think I ever fully appreciated the hard work that goes into teaching until I had to do it myself. More

The Importance of Community
By Jillian Wolgemuth, Duke Field Hockey - #ACEinVietnam

Each of these small moments I shared with people who created my ACE community. Vietnam was a rare opportunity for all of us to dive into deep relationships with one another. I may not remember the reason for each laugh or tear shared together, but I will remember how the people I met made me feel. More

Enkosi Nomzamo
By Callie Humphrey, Duke Women's Lacrosse - #ACEinSouthAfrica

It then dawned on me as I wrote my last journal entry that I was leaving behind a place and people that had so quickly come to mean so much to me. For instance, the children we worked with and their incessant joy – the smiles on their faces, the laughter in their voices, and the spirit in their gait – day in and day out taught me about gratitude. More

Perhaps a Little Difference Is Enough
By Kayla McCoy, Duke Women's Soccer - #ACEinSouthAfrica

And me? I came back with a whole new perspective and respect for the people of South Africa. I experienced a taste of the beautiful country and was given the opportunity to learn of its history and rich culture. And for all that, I’d say the experience was worth it. More

Finding a Purpose
By Sydnei Murphy, Duke Women's Track & Field - #ACEinSouthAfrica

As highly revered as all of us teachers were, it was finally cool to those kids to be an adult that played sports. The kids were able to see the perks of sticking with a sport, whatever it may be. More 

This "Moment"
By Max Feldman, Duke Men's Soccer - #ACEinSouthAfrica

This “moment” was one of the best moments of my life. Every experience was new and different and helped me grow immensely as a person, teacher, and friend but all of it seemed to last for just a moment. One morning we were excited to go to camp the first day and then in the blink of an eye we were all crying on our way to the airport. More

Hope Motivates Us All
By Roman Romero, Duke Wrestling - #ACEinSouthAfrica

Working in Nomzamo has been such an impactful experience due to the new perspectives I have gained while working with the children and learning about the adults. More

Final Day of Camp
By Alyssa Marsh, Duke Women's Swimming & Diving - #ACEinVietnam

This five-hour round trip ended my Vietnam experience perfectly. Quite frankly, this made it more difficult to say goodbye in the end. The area is beautiful and the people are genuine. The kids have so much joy. Vietnam changed my view of the world for the better. More


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