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Raegan Kelley-Soccer

Posted by on Friday, January 27, 2023 in Student-Athletes of the Month.

Raegan Kelley
Grad Student
Medicine, Health & Society (Master’s)

Why did you choose to attend Vanderbilt?

I chose to attend Vanderbilt so that I can be at a highly accredited academic institution while competing at the highest athletic level for soccer, especially within the SEC. Growing up in Georgia with both of my parents and all my siblings attending SEC schools ensured my strong connection to the conference and desire to represent an SEC school in competition. The second I stepped on campus and experienced the close nature of the Vanderbilt soccer team, everything the city of Nashville has to offer, and the beautiful environment of the campus itself, I knew it was the school I wanted to continue my academic and athletic careers. I love the close-knit atmosphere of the smaller student body and the communal feeling I witnessed everywhere I went on campus.

What are your career goals?

My career goals mainly revolve around attending medical school and becoming a physician. I have always found passion in medicine and want to dedicate my knowledge and skills toward future patients and peers around me to the best of my ability. Additionally, I want to continue pursuing a role in mentoring younger students in the educational environment, the medical atmosphere for up-and-coming pre-medical students, and additionally mentoring young athletes to make the biggest impact on my community that I can.

What does it take to be academically successful at Vanderbilt?

My biggest takeaway for finding academic success at Vanderbilt stems from developing a strong mentality that I can achieve my goals through a dedicated work ethic and commitment to my ambitions. Although I have undoubtedly experienced many challenges and obstacles when working through the tough academics present at Vanderbilt, it was important for me to face the challenges head on instead of shying away from opportunities when they became more difficult. Importantly, I learned to ask for advice from older teammates and classmates, as well as utilizing tutoring services and extra help from professors when needed.

Who do you consider to be an unsung hero in your academic success at Vanderbilt? And Why?

I consider one of my former teammates, Leila Azari, as my unsung hero for my academic success. Being one year older than me on the team and a fellow pre-medical student, I continually looked up to her academic success and went to her for both guidance and friendship. It definitely helped that we developed an incredibly close relationship both on and off the field and I still go to her for advice in my academic endeavors even after graduating and moving on to the next steps of our lives.

Who has been a strong role model or what has been a major key in balancing academics and athletics?

Both of my parents have consistently served as my strongest role models in balancing academics and athletics. They drove from Atlanta to attend almost every single one of my Vanderbilt soccer games over the past five years, regardless of if they were home or away, and have been my biggest fans since I began playing soccer at the age of four. I would also immediately call them after receiving a good grade on an exam or even when I needed to just hear their voices in times of struggle. I will forever be grateful for their unwavering support and love as I achieved my biggest dreams as both a student and athlete at Vanderbilt.