Eleven Virginia Tech student-athletes are or will be participating this summer in Coach for College, a global initiative to promote higher education founded by former Duke tennis player Parker Goyer. The Tech contingent is among 62 ACC student-athletes who have headed or will be heading to Vietnam to teach children basketball, soccer, volleyball and tennis. More importantly, the curriculum also includes health, physics, morality and English.
Those participating for Tech include Kimberly Patten (lacrosse), Julie Wolfinger (lacrosse), Ryan Rotanz (lacrosse), Colleen Thom (women’s cross country), Jessica Trapeni (women’s cross country), Drew Dillon (women’s cross country), Aunye Boone (women’s track), Devin Cornwall (men’s track), Keith Ricks (men’s track), Morgan Allen (women’s swimming) and Kaleigh Gomes (women’s swimming).
Some of these student-athletes will be submitting updates periodically, along with photos from their experiences. Here are the updates:
I was in Vietnam for three weeks and coached volleyball and taught physics. I loved every second of it. It flew by so quickly and I got along so well with all the other student-athletes that I was with. It was so sad when we left because you do not really realize how close and how much of an impact you had on all the kids. I miss them all so much, but when we left, a lot of the students gave us gifts, so I have many pictures and gifts I can look at to remember them by.
As for my travels after the camp, I traveled to Bangkok, Chang Mai, and Phuket. We went and visited all these temples, Buddhas, and more in Bangkok. So pretty and then we went on a three-hour long zip-lining tour in the forest, rode elephants, and bungee-jumped in Chang Mai. We just hung out at the beach in Phuket.
I miss it so much and I would love to do it again next year. One of the best experiences I have had and made so many friends with people that I will always stay in contact with.