This year I have been fortunate enough to have students from all over the world, speaking various different languages and coming from very diverse backgrounds. Many of these students are recent arrivals from Mexico, the majority of them coming from very unfortunate circumstances. Despite the hardships many of my students have faced, they are some of the most respectful, driven, and kindhearted people I have ever met.
As I learn more about where they came from and what kind of obstacles they have had to overcome at such a young age, I feel an indescribable longing to do more to help students like them, ones that still do not have access to the kind of education and opportunities that are provided to the majority of students attending school in the United States.
This is why I have decided to volunteer to teach English to young students in Mexico at orphanages, community centers, foster homes, and alternative schools.
Not only will this enable me to provide learning opportunities to students who receive little or no English instruction in their curriculum, but it will also help me to better understand the students I work with daily here in the United States.
I try to teach my students every day the importance of doing what they can with what they have to help those in need, and what kind of teacher would I be if I did not lead by example? I have been given an opportunity to practice what I preach when IVHQ accepted me to be a part of their Teaching English Project in Mérida, Mexico, which is designed to spark interest in learning a foreign language and inspire Mexican students to think about their futures. Many of the students that I would be working with attend public schools and receive little or no English instruction in their curriculum. I will be working in orphanages, foster care institutions, community centers, as well as in alternative and traditional schools.
In addition to teaching these students English, I aspire to instill within them a desire to further their education and rise above any obstacles that may stand in their way.
This type of outreach is critical, especially now, when the country is suffering not only from unspeakable violence, but widespread poverty, social inequality, and unemployment.
Ultimately, my goal is to reach as many of these students as I can, inspiring them to believe in and pursue their dreams. This experience would teach me more than I can fathom, not only as an educator but as a human being.
My current students have been my biggest supporters in my efforts to raise funds, especially those who have recently arrived from Mexico. I want to prove to them, and all of the students who have been knocked down one too many times, that a single person can make a difference, and that many people care about them and their home country; that instead of building walls many of us are trying to build bridges.
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