Posted by: allisonbarnes | May 1, 2011

UNC Student-Athletes Travel to Vietnam

In 2006 only 2 percent of the Vietnamese population received 13 years of education. Parker Goyer, a former Duke Tennis player, noticed the disparity between higher education in the US and Vietnam and wanted to make a change. She created a program called Coach for College, which uses the skills student-athletes have in their sport to motivate youth to seek higher education. 15 UNC student-athletes wanted to be a part of that change and will be traveling to Vietnam this summer to participate in Coach for College.

Coach for College is a program where American collegiate student-athletes and bilingual Vietnamese college students partner together to teach lower secondary students in rural Vietnam. American student-athletes teach a sport- soccer, basketball, tennis or volleyball- and an academic- physics, morality, English and health- to try to motivate students to excel in the classroom. The program uses sport analogies to motivate students to seek higher education during four 3 week sports-learning camps.

For Senior Swimmer Ashley Miller, deciding to participate in Coach for College was a no-brainer.

“I wanted to broaden my horizons by traveling outside of the US, especially because it was really difficult to travel with swimming,” said Miller. “Essentially I kind of thought it was a win-win, we help them with sports and higher education and they help us to appreciate a different culture and learn about ourselves while we are there.”

The program not only serves youth in rural Vietnam, but also collegiate student-athletes who typically don’t have the opportunity to travel abroad or to see other cultures.  CFC develops a student-athletes’ leadership skills and generates  future leaders who can rely on the experiences they received through the program to make a positive difference in the world.

UNC Swimmer Andy Brake's involvement with CFC has introduced him to other opportunities in helping others. Brake leaves in June for Liberia where he will serve in the Peace Corps.

Andy Brake, a senior UNC Swimmer, is a prime example of that. Brake participated in the program for two years as an American Coach and then as an American Director.

“I think CFC is a great way for student-athletes to travel abroad and gain an experience they may not otherwise have,” said Brake. “CFC gives ACC student-athletes a chance to help a group of people who really need it, and from there I think many people bring those experiences home and help in their own communities more.”

The experiences that Brake received from CFC has shaped his after graduation plans. On June 8, 2011, Brake will leave for Liberia as a Peace Corps member where he will live and serve in Liberia until August 2013.

The program has expanded over its pilot summer in 2008.  CFC started off with 20 student-athletes from Duke and UNC in 2008, serving 250 Vietnamese students in Hoa An.  It expanded the following summer to include two other rival schools in the ACC, Virginia Tech and the University of Virginia, serving a little over 350 Vietnamese students. This summer the program has expanded to two locations, Hoa An and Thuan Hung, and will include student-athletes from all 12 Universities in the ACC. This summer over 60 American student-athletes will have the opportunity to participate, serving over 1,000 Vietnamese students.

Interested in helping? $45 allows for one Vietnamese student to participate in a 3 week CFC camp. To help with the student’s expenses, American Coaches and Directors are encouraged to raise $1,500. If you are interested in helping to donate, click HERE.  Once you are on the page, scroll down and select the student-athlete you wish to donate to. A list of UNC student-athletes are listed below.

15 UNC student-athletes, representing 7 athletic teams, are participating in Coach for College for Summer 2011:

Women’s Golf: Jordan Allyne

Women’s Rowing: Elizabeth Teel, Jasmine Dennis, Josephine Kooijman, Lindsay Newman

Women’s Swimming & Diving: Allison Barnes, Ashely Miller, Katura Harvey

Women’s Tennis: Haley Hemm

Women’s Gymnastics: Christine Nguyen, Kara Wright

Women’s Fencing: Gladys Manzur

Men’s Fencing: Kevin Nadeau, Joe Alter

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