FIJI volleyball player Agatha Gibbons says she has learnt a lot after graduating from the New Mexico Military Institute (NMMI) in the United States.
Gibbons, who is the first Kulawai player to secure a US scholarship, is on the verge of completing her two-year study at NMMI. She says she has grown to be a better player.
"I have experienced a lot of lessons from the classroom, on the volleyball court and also in the military lifestyle," she said.
"NMMI has taught me how to be a better person and how to deal with difficulties when the goings got tough. NMMI has taught me how to be independent and never give up."
Gibbons, who left Fiji in 2010, said experiencing the NMMI lifestyle was a real challenge.
"The facilities, coaching and competition here in the US are more advanced and this is like an advantage for athletes like myself.
"I have improved so much in my volleyball skills that I received a number of NCAA universities trying to recruit me when I complete my two years at NMMI," she said.
NMMI is home to Fiji tennis players Chris Hargrove and Tony O'Connell. The institute is also the progressive base for Fiji athletes Alisha Dickinson and Ana Kaloucava.
In addition, Fiji athletes Roy Ravana and Ratutira Narara, swimmer Douglas Miller and basketball player Mili Koyamainavure are studying and training at Iowa Central Community College.
The Fiji Volleyball Federation hopes that Agatha will continue to excel in sports as well as academically.