Rachel Maher is an Athletic Trainer at the Vereen Center and works with the athletes at Thomas Central County High School. Originally from Maryland, Maher graduated from the College of Charleston in South Carolina and is currently pursuing her master’s degree at the University of North Georgia.
Although her hometown is far from Georgia, Maher’s experiences in South Carolina have eased her transition.
“I kind of had a little bit of a stepping stone there,” Maher said. “It’s been a lot of transition and a lot of learning different nuances and cultures and things like that. But, really, just going in open minded, it’s been a great experience.”
But the culture isn’t the only thing Maher has learned so far.
“The biggest thing (I’ve learned) so far working with Vereen would have to be just all the basic policies and procedures… just learning the ropes of how Vereen functions and what makes (it) so great,” she said.
According to Maher, the experience has lived up to expectations.
“Working with Vereen so far has been great,” she said. “Everyone is super welcoming. Everyone wants you to do your best and (does) whatever they can do to facilitate that.”
Maher’s classmates have that same energy, making the transition from South Carolina to Georgia even smoother. Coming from a tight-knit group of undergrads, Maher has enjoyed meeting her new classmates.
Her experiences in undergraduate school have helped Maher identify her interest areas as well.
“In my undergrad, I had a rotation with our men’s soccer team at the College of Charleston, and that was my favorite (sport to cover) by far,” she said. “I worked with a lot of great athletes. My preceptor was great. So, I think now, at this high school, I’m very excited to work with soccer again.”
However, Maher’s interest in becoming an Athletic Trainer dates all the way back to her childhood.
“I grew up with two brothers,” she said. “I was the middle child, so always around sports and everything like that. So, going into high school and going into college and everything, I wanted to stay involved with sports but didn’t know if I wanted to be on the competitive side of things anymore. So, Athletic Training was a way for me to stay connected with sports, and the added benefit of getting those athletes back to doing what they love.”
As for the future, Maher remains undecided.
“I think getting started on this new adventure, I need a little bit of time to settle in and see if working in a high school is something I want to pursue,” she said. “But I do love athletics, so somehow staying involved as an Athletic Trainer in some sort of capacity in the future is definitely in the plans.”