Anndrea Yetter graduated from Lehigh in 2008 after playing defense for the Mountain Hawks women’s soccer team. Yetter’s team role helped provide defensive support. Yetter’s post-graduation life path differs from many recent college graduates.
Shortly after graduating, Yetter began preparing for a journey that she says would later change her life. Yetter decided to live in South Africa for nine months as a member of an organization called Grassroots Soccer.
“It’s a non-governmental organization that does H.I.V. education and prevention,” Yetter says. “We don’t teach soccer to the kids but use activities that incorporate soccer. Soccer is a way to get through to the kids in South Africa.”
Yetter had to come up with $10,000 in about three months in order to fund her flight and nine-month-trip. Yetter immediately began writing letters to friends, family, and acquaintances for donations for her trip. Yetter steadily built her collection.
“I wrote to one of my professors and he gave me $2,000,” Yetter says.
The nine month duration in South Africa was an attempt for Yetter to make a positive contribution in other lives. The experience also changed Yetter as well.
“The people’s outlook on life is amazing,” Yetter says. “These people have next to nothing and they are still happy and they smile every day. They deal with things on a daily basis and still have a positive outlook on life. I changed perceptions on life and realized what’s important and learned to let a lot of little things go. I was pretty anal before about a lot of things but now I can let a lot of it go and realize it’s not as important.”
Yetter stayed in South Africa until June 2009. She now works as a bank management trainee. The position involves rotating through different departments at the bank to understand all functions. The training is required to become a bank manager in two to four years.
“It’s really different from South Africa,” Yetter says. “But so far, so good.”
Yetter admits training is hard work but her experiences playing soccer for the Mountain Hawks has prepared her for her new life direction.
“It’s really just work ethic because you can’t get by in Division I by not giving it your all every day,” Yetter says. “It’s knowing what it really means to work hard.”
While hard work sets Yetter’s foundation, her trip to Africa showed her fun remains an important aspect for a happy life. Yetter’s most memorable moment playing Lehigh women’s soccer involved having a good time.
“We had ‘Funday’ where we wore bathrobes and goalie gloves and ate Oreos and skateboarded at practice,” Yetter says. “It happened when our assistant coach Mary (McVeigh) could tell we just needed to relax and we just had a fun day.”
Yetter’s advice to Lehigh athletes remains simple. “Do what you enjoy,” Yetter says.
Story written by Reggie Hall ‘09