AMIGA OF THE WEEK ~ Stephanie Fore (2015-17 BECA volunteer)

Stephanie Fore (known here at Amigos as "Miss Stephanie") is in her second year of service as a volunteer teacher though the BECA (Bilingual Education for Central America) program at the Amigos de Jesús School. Stephanie has a natural talent for teaching that shines in her 4th grade classroom of diverse personalities and learning levels. She is always thinking of new and creative ways to inspire a love of learning in her kids. Outside of classes, Stephanie takes on an active role on the home side of Amigos. She can often be found helping her students with homework or simply spending quality time with them. Miss Stephanie's deep dedication and love for our kids make her a valued part of the Amigos family!

  1. Age: 25 (but I'll be 26 this Saturday!)
  2. Hometown: Saint Paul, MN
  3. University: Knox College in Galesburg, IL
  4. Majors/Minors: Anthropology-Sociology with minors in Spanish and Social Services
  5. What have been your roles at Amigos during your time as a volunteer teacher? 
    Last year, I was the 4th grade teacher. I taught English, math, science, art, and computers. This year, in addition to my responsibilities as the 4th grade teacher, I'm also the Instructional Lead and a resource teacher for the BECA program at Amigos. As the Instructional Lead, I meet with the first-year BECA teachers at least once a week to talk about their goals and progress as educators and do occasional obersvations of their classes. As a resource teacher, I assist the 5th grade and Prepa (kindergarten) teachers in their classrooms a few times a week. I also teach the Honduran teachers English twice a week after school.
  6. How did you first hear about Amigos de Jesús?
    I applied to teach in Honduras through BECA (Bilingual Education for Central America) and was then placed at Amigos without knowing much about it. I was a little nervous to be part of such a small, rural community, but once I moved here, I couldn't believe how lucky I was. It's such a beautiful campus and I love being part of such a close-knit family.
  7. What were you doing before you came to Amigos? 
    Before I came to Amigos, I had graduated from Knox College and was working in the Office of Admissions there. I knew I wanted to stay in education, but I made a huge leap from university students to elementary children.
  8. What made you decide to stay a second year at Amigos?
    Although it took me a lot of time to commit, it was never really much of a decision. I knew a few months in that I would regret not giving myself the opportunity to improve as a teacher and form deeper relationships with the children if I left after just one year. Being here as a second-year teacher has presented its own unique challenges, but I feel so lucky to be welcomed into the Amigos family for a second time.
  9. What is your favorite part of your job? 
    Oh man, that's a tough one! I love (almost) everything! It's especially fun to be a part of all of the BECA classrooms this year. I love having the chance to teach my 4th graders about subjects and predicates, then help out Mister Tim as he teaches his 5th graders division with decimals, support Libian as she teaches her Prepa students to write their numbers, observe Mister Brian teach a lesson on finding the setting in a story, and then play with all of the students at recess. It's amazing to see how different each student, class, and teacher is. It's incredible how much the kids learn and grow in the matter of one school year. My other favorite part is all of the sweet artwork that I'm given by the children.
  10. Do you have a favorite memory from your time at Amigos de Jesús?
    Every October, all of the children from the home take trips around Honduras. This year, Miss Ashley (2015-17 Amigos volunteer) and I were lucky enough to travel with seven of the kids to their hometown of Tegucigalpa (the capital of Honduras). It was a little bit hectic traveling over seven hours with so many small children, but it was so great to spend some quality time with them and learn more about their lives before Amigos. Four of the boys that traveled with us have since been reunited with their families, so I'm especially glad that I was able to create that memory with them before they left.
    We also recently celebrated our 100th day of school by doing art projects, eating snacks, putting together a 100-piece puzzle, and making homemade ice cream. Only about half of the 4th graders were able to successfully make their ice cream, but it was a lot of fun making a mess!
  11. Fun Fact: When I was two-years-old, our family got our first cat and my mom let me name him. His name was Baby Kitty Meow Meow Fred. Another fun fact is that I once won free Buffalo Wild Wings for a year!

Miss Stephanie (far right) and Miss Ashley on their trip to Tegucigalpa with the kids in October. Here, they are also joined by one of the caretakers at their old home.

Miss Stephanie and her 4th grade class from last year.