I still remember my first ever lesson with ACE. At 10 years old, Jeff, Joe, and Emily took me down Hiawassee river for a joint lesson with my family. We spent a week together working on rolling, catching eddies, and stroke technique.  Although I wouldn’t kayak much over the next few years, that first week with ACE provided me with a baseline to improve my skills.

At 16, I started interning for Joe on the Ocoee. For three summers (2016, 2017 and 2018), I worked hard to improve my kayaking and teaching technique. Those summers paddling with ACE made me into the kayaker I am today. By spending countless hours on the Ocoee, I developed what I think will be a lifelong passion for kayaking and exploration.
Because of my history with ACE, I am a firm believer in our teaching process. Joe presented kayaking to me not just as a sport, but as a lifestyle. Everyone at ACE kayaks “For The Love of It,” and sharing that passion and love for kayaking has become one of my greatest ambitions. 
Since those summers on the Ocoee, I have been able to push myself on runs in the Southeast, PNW, California, and Mexico. Without ACE, I wouldn’t be the person I am today.