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Oct. 27, 2010
Robin Chidester has always given more than she ever needed to. As a former SAAC member and senior captain on the Virginia Tech Women's Soccer team, Robin was always a highly-involved Hokie. During four years in Blacksburg, she became immersed in the town and its culture. As an active member of her church, she was always going to events that benefited surrounding community members.
Volunteering in events like Relay for Life, The Big Event, and Special Olympics was just a part of Robin's time on the soccer team. Even though all of that volunteering set her up with an impressive resume, it was never about self-gain for her. She always did just a little bit more, and even impacted people when she probably didn't even know she was doing it.
For as much as she helped the Hokie nation, she also made an impression on the lives of children around the world. Robin has always been fascinated with other cultures and languages. She has enjoyed diving into different cultures around the world and soaking up as much information as she could.
She has helped restore churches, daycares, and community centers for outreach programs in Juarez, Mexico, and even set up a mini-medical clinic for the towns' children. Naturally, in between all of the laborious work she would find time to brighten the lives of the children a little by playing a simple game of soccer with them; a game they'll all surely remember.
In the summer of 2009, she traveled to Vietnam with other Virginia Tech, Duke, Virginia and North Carolina student-athletes to partake in the program called Coach for College. There, she spent three weeks at the Hoa An Research Center to promote higher education for the underprivileged children by integrating academics and athletics into each day's lesson.
After impacting the lives of the Vietnamese children and enjoying herself abroad, it became clear that Robin was going to end up living overseas for a period of her life; and that's exactly what she ended up doing.
After graduating from Virginia Tech in May 2010, Robin decided that she'd like to earn a graduate degree and continue to passionately play soccer. She settled on Durham University in the United Kingdom and was especially excited about earning her Master of Arts in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL). She seems to be on the fast-track to exploring the world and giving back what she can to different cultures and children.
Of course, since her graduate school program didn't start until the beginning of October, she decided to give a little more back to her Virginia Tech soccer program. Instead of spending the summer beachside surfing the days away, Robin joined the Women's Soccer Team as a volunteer assistant coach. Not only did she greatly help the coaching staff prepare for the 2010 season, but she joined in on every single practice with the team. Her pure passion was palpable as she would run past half of the team during a fitness test, or push players to work harder during training. Even when she wasn't playing, she would be there to lend a hand outside of soccer by listening and truly caring about each girl on the team.
When she finally left the states to pursue her international dreams, Robin left a legacy at Virginia Tech and the team was truly thankful. It's no telling what Robin will do for the Durham community while she's there, or where she'll end up once she has earned her M.A. One guarantee, though, is that she will submerge herself into the culture she's living within, and will continue to give back to the people she's surrounded with. She has left an impact on the lives she has touched her whole life, and there's no doubt she will continue to do so with her TESOL degree and positive outlook on life.