My name is Rachel Gaspar and I am a student in the honors program at AB. I had an amazing opportunity this summer to play soccer in Costa Rica. I was invited by an organization called Beyond Sports who chose me based off of my stats throughout my college soccer career here at AB. They chose other soccer players from colleges all around the country and formed a team. We played three games in the week and a half we were there, one being against the Costa Rica Women’s National team. We also participated in different service opportunities mostly within elementary schools throughout the Costa Rican community. My personal favorite was working with the Special Olympics program. We got to set up different physical activity stations for the kids to complete and compete in. It was so rewarding seeing the smiles on their faces when they completed the stations. We also ended the session with the Special Olympics by playing soccer with the kids.
My trip to Costa Rica was an all around amazing experience!
On September 28-29, Dr. Rodimtseva and I traveled to Kingsport, TN for the Appalachian College Association Annual Summit 2018. I participated in an Honors Student Round-table along with students from various colleges in the Appalachian region. We discussed many things including leadership and community service projects. One thing worth mentioning was a “hometown service” in which each honors student would go back to their hometown to assess the needs in their community and the honors program would collaborate with other organizations to serve these communities. This model would bring a more visual aspect to our service requirement. I also got to learn about the Ledford Scholarship and I had the opportunity to view different poster presentations and it was very inspiring to see the groundbreaking research that undergraduate students, including AB’s own, Levi Summe, are leading. Some students actually discovered new species! All in all, it was a great experience and I hope to go again in the future.