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A Gamecock Makes a Difference in Vietnam

Gabby Gilbert has gone from playing forward and scoring goals to paying it forward and helping disadvantaged children on the other side of the world achieve goals of their own. Shortly after graduating last spring, the former South Carolina soccer student-athlete spent a month in Vietnam as a volunteer with Coach for College, which is a non-profit organization that offers recently graduated student-athletes the chance to teach youths in rural parts of developing countries. This is part of a global initiative to promote higher education through sports.

"I went there to teach them, and they taught me so much about different cultures and just so much about being more grateful for what I have here," Gilbert said. "When I first heard about this, I knew that Coach for College was something I wanted to do because I could apply sports and actually help the kids in school."

The eight American student-athletes were joined by eight Vietnamese coaches, who were local university students majoring in English.

The days were long and began early with camp getting underway at 7 a.m. Gilbert taught soccer and health as the coaches would alternate 40 minute lessons on sports followed by 40 minute educational lessons several times per day for sixth graders in the morning and seventh graders in the afternoon.

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gamecocksonline.com