Student ACES offers premier character education programs in South Florida. Each program is designed to meet specific needs of high school student-athletes. Program offerings and points of impact vary according to location.
The Student ACES Yearlong Program: This program is provided to students from public and private high schools in Palm Beach County and consists of six classes and a community project. Students are nominated by their high schools or peers for exemplifying leadership traits in athletics, education and in their community. The yearlong program accepts male and female students in their junior or senior year of high school. Students are excused from school and work together with students from different ethnicities, backgrounds and cultures to discuss values-based leadership. A network of young men and women of character and integrity is created and life-lasting friendships are formed!
Captains’ Summit: This one-day seminar is designed specifically for high school athletic captains to learn leadership skills, techniques and life lessons that will enable them to lead each of their teams on and off the field. Participating student athletes have firsthand experience to hear and engage with world-class experts and leaders in their respective professions while connecting with captains from other schools. The student athletes engage in interactive drills designed to incorporate communication, respect, sportsmanship, trust, sacrifice and ethical behavior. The captains also engage in team discussions on challenges facing today’s young leaders including dealing with peer pressure, difficult personalities, drugs/alcohol abuse, cultural barriers, family problems and similar issues.
Leadership Workshops: Leadership work shops are customizable to specific teams, schools or sports. The Student ACE staff works closely with school administration and coaches to create a personalized curriculum to focus on specific needs. During workshops, teams have the opportunity to work together to solve case studies and engage in interactive drills designed to incorporate communication, respect, sportsmanship, trust, sacrifice and ethical behavior. Workshop topics can vary according to specific needs and work to break down the barriers that may be preventing a team or school from reaching the highest level of success.
Mental Health First Aid: ACE Executive Director, Krissy Webb, is certified to teach mental health first aid to 30 student athletes 18+ at one time from the different County High Schools. This program is evidence-based and will bring an exciting and socially relevant new skill to student athletes across Southeast Florida. All 18 year old ACE students in Palm Beach County are trained in Mental Health First Aid as part of the yearlong program.
Palm Beach County
ACE Program Success
Students who participate in ACE programs improve in all aspects of their lives. Preliminary data is showing increases in grades, nutrition, health, post high school advancement, securing funding for higher education, employment, entrepreneurial endeavors, improved mental health, and higher rates of resilience and hope. Anecdotally, Student ACES has documented improvements in intra-school district sportsmanship, collaboration, social connection, and support. This is especially promising as students grow and experience opportunities outside of their team or school, which normally would be a stressor and be experienced as extremely uncomfortable. Students in the program are building comfort, familiarity, and friendship serving as a network as they experience college, employment, or education outside of their immediate neighborhood. The students are indicating a sense of belonging and identity rooted in pro-social emotional character principles. As a result of the competencies and experiential learning components in the curriculum, students have a stronger belief in their abilities (self-efficacy) and are empowered to break community, family, and individual cycles of adversity.