So I asked a bunch of Catholics what an acolyte was. Pretty much everyone pictured a 6th grader in an alb.
There's a little more to being an acolyte than just being the world's oldest altar server. But focusing on the altar isn't wrong. Because being an acolyte is all about the purpose for the altar. The Eucharist.
Part of ordination is receiving the gift of the Holy Spirit. Each of the three Holy Orders (deacon, priest, bishop) confers that gift in a different way. For a deacon, that gift conforms you to the image of Christ the Servant.
But before that happens, the Church wants you to draw close to Christ. To take the time to join your heart to the ultimate expression of Christ the Servant. The Eucharist.