History

A High Vision, A Deep Impact

“If you give a man a fish, he will eat for a day; If you teach him to fish, he will eat all his life. But if you teach him to sell the fish he will provide for his family and be self-sufficient.” (Old adage adapted by Stephen Gibson)

Our History

In November of 1999, Steve and Bette Gibson packed up boxes of training materials, 15 used laptop computers and all the suitcases they had and moved from Provo, Utah to Cebu, Philippines. With a sense of urgency, the day after they arrived in the Philippines, they distributed 1300 applications at a conference organized by Church Educational System for the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Stephen and Bette Gibson (second and third from the right) with the first graduates in the Philippines in 2000.

With the help of their friend Ed Siady, they soon found a facility for the Academy, established a bank account and hired a secretary. Daily Steve and Bette went to the post office looking for applications from returned missionaries. For several weeks there were no applications, and then came one, then two. One day they received 11. Gratefully, after receiving 30 applications the Gibsons began their training. Together they shared business principles which began lifting young promising lives out of poverty.

Thanks to the vision of Steve and Bette Gibson, today ACE has a growing presence in more than 290 chapters in the Philippines, Mexico, and Peru with new pilot programs in many other countries.