MEET THE AMIGOS ~ 2017-18 BECA Volunteers

Back row, left to right: Mr. Tim (Program Administrator), Miss Bentley (3rd grade teacher), Miss Amelia (Prepa teacher/Teacher and Student Support Administrator), and Mr. Max (5th grade teacher) Front row, left to right: Miss Morgan (1st grade teacher), Miss Lena (2nd grade teacher), Miss Laura (4th grade teacher), and Miss Christina  (6th grade teacher)

Back row, left to right: Mr. Tim (Program Administrator), Miss Bentley (3rd grade teacher), Miss Amelia (Prepa teacher/Teacher and Student Support Administrator), and Mr. Max (5th grade teacher)

Front row, left to right: Miss Morgan (1st grade teacher), Miss Lena (2nd grade teacher), Miss Laura (4th grade teacher), and Miss Christina  (6th grade teacher)

Our children’s education is a top priority and one that would not be possible without the help of many dedicated and passionate individuals. We are very happy to introduce the group of BECA volunteers that have joined us for the 2017-18 school year at the Amigos de Jesús Bilingual School.  BECA volunteers work closely alongside our Honduran teachers to create a positive, fun, and challenging bilingual education. While their primary focus is in the classroom, these teachers are fully invested in the happiness and success of our children as people just as much as students, meaning their work and love always extend beyond the classroom walls.

 

Read more about the 2017-18 BECA volunteers in their interviews below:

Miss Amelia

amelia Sierra

  1. Age: 25
  2. Hometown: Amory, Mississippi 
  3. University: Mississippi State University
  4. Degree: B.S. Educational Psychology with a double minor in General Psychology & International Studies
  5. Position/Job at School: Teacher & Student Support Administrator, Prepa Teacher, Resource Teacher

What is one of your favorite things about working at the ADJ Bilingual School?  Mhumm, what ISN'T one of my favorite things?! I would have to say my Prepa class as a whole is one of my favorite things about being/working at ADJBS. Watching most of my kids start with no English comprehension/verbalization and then seeing how their English levels have proliferated over the last 2.5 months has been incredible. From the first day when we were all nervous and intimidated to now- where I get a million hugs a day and they can at least verbalize their basic feelings to me (like "love" to be "i love you" and "happy" or "hungry" or "sleepy") has created this amazing classroom community and I can't imagine letting them go at the end of the year! They're so young and precious and they LOVE school, so getting to be with them in the beginning of their school journey and the beginning of their ENGLISH journey has been such a beautiful blessing to experience. They crack me up EVERY day. Their love and joy that I get to experience every morning is an amazing reminder at the beginning of each day to be thankful and joyous towards everyone and throughout everything. They inspire me! I really just love being with them.

 

Bentley cornett

Bentley
  1. Age: 21
  2. Hometown: Galax, Virginia
  3. University: Virginia Tech
  4.  Degree: BA in International Studies 
  5. Position/Job at School: 3rd grade teacher

What is one of your favorite things about working at the ADJ Bilingual School?  There is so much to love about my job as a teacher here at ADJ. Each day, I have the blessing of walking into a classroom with 17 of the most loving, down right hilarious students I’ve ever encountered. No two days are ever the same, and the work we do comes with challenges, but what we give as teachers is so little in comparison to what we receive. Everyone at ADJ truly works together as a family, and the kids here are what hold all of it together. I wouldn’t trade my time spent here for anything! 

Christina BECA

Christina kollisch 

  1. Age: 27
  2. Hometown: West Springfield, Massachusetts
  3. University: University of Massachusetts Amherst
  4. Degree: Sustainable Agriculture
  5. Position/Job at School: 6th grade teacher

What is one of your favorite things about working at the ADJ Bilingual School?  My favorite thing about working at the ADJ Bilingual School is the incredible support from the community that we have - it is a collaboration and true partnership between the staff, volunteers, parents and families, 'madrina's and 'padrinos,' and of course the students. And I've only been here for a month and I can already see that! It reminds me that I am only one cog in a much larger machine, one part of a much bigger picture. The adjustment in housing, work, friends, culture, and language has been and continues to be tremendously difficult at times. But it pushes me to learn when to take a step back and take care of myself, so that I may care for others.

 

Laura Montes

Miss Laura
  1. Age: 23
  2. Hometown: Rochester, Michigan
  3. University: University of Michigan
  4. Degree: Business Administration with a minor in Social Work
  5. Position/Job at School: 4th grade teacher

What is one of your favorite things about working at the ADJ Bilingual School?  There are so many things that I love about working at the ADJ Bilingual School, but there are two things that really stand out. The first is that I live in the 'hogar' with so many of my students. Being their teacher is one thing, but living with my students is such a unique and amazing opportunity to develop meaningful relationships with the kids. While I have to be strict and sometimes "the bad guy" at school, when I spend time with the kids in the 'hogar' I can see their goofy sides and just have fun. The other aspect about ADJ that I love is that I can tell that each and every staff member loves the students. From the teachers, to the administration, to the maintenance workers, everybody puts the kids first and as a result, we have a very special and beautiful little team. I have never worked in another school, and I might be biased, but I think ADJ is probably the best school around.

 

Lena novak

Lena.JPG
  1. Age: 22
  2. Hometown: South Pasadena, California
  3. University: Lewis & Clark College
  4. Degree: Sociology and Anthropology major, Ethnic Studies minor
  5. Position/Job at School: 2nd grade teacher 

What is one of your favorite things about working at the ADJ Bilingual School?  Something that I enjoy about Amigos de Jesus is my ability to connect with my students in a multitude of ways. I interact with them in the classroom, during recess, in their backyards and in their homes. This is a unique experience because it gives room for you to teach the kids as well as for the kids to teach you about where and how they grew/grow up. I can't think of another instance where I would be able to tell one of my students happy birthday on my way to school as they brush their teeth in the backyard of their house. In a space like this it seems as though the possibilities for connection and interaction are limitless! 

 

Max thongnuam 

Max
  1. Age - 22  
  2. Hometown - Madison, Wisconsin
  3. University - University of Wisconsin - Madison (Go Badgers!!)
  4. Degree - Double Major in Spanish and Rehabilitation Psychology; B.S. Rehabilitation Psychology
  5. Position/Job at School: 5th grade teacher

What is one of your favorite things about working at the ADJ School?  Working at the ADJ Bilingual School has gifted me with a whole host of incredible and unique experiences. One of my favorite parts about working here is the evident and tangible feeling of community by which I am constantly surrounded. This sense of community facilitates building relationships not only with my Honduran counterparts, but also with my amazing students. I am truly grateful to be a part of a community that I know will always be there to support me.

 

Morgan.jpg

Morgan meyer

  1. Age: 23
  2. Hometown: Lincolnshire, IL
  3. University: University of Michigan
  4. Degree: History and Organizational Studies
  5. Position/Job at School: 1st grade teacher

What is one of your favorite memories from the year so far?  It was two weeks out from my birthday and my class was being crazy rowdy in line, so I had to send them inside one by one. When I got in the classroom, they all came out from under their tables and started singing happy birthday to me in English (a big deal for little first graders). I kept trying to tell them it wasn’t my birthday for another two weeks, but they were singing with so much enthusiasm that I ended up just having to let them finish. It was so cute how excited they were when I rarely get excited for my birthday!

 

tim havlat

DSC_0327 web.JPG
  1. Age: 30
  2. Hometown: Chicago, IL
  3. University: Carnegie Mellon University
  4. Degree: Chemistry
  5. Position/Job at School: Program Administrator

What is one of your favorite things about working at the ADJ Bilingual School?  The single most rewarding part of working at the ADJ Bilingual School is seeing the kids learn and mature.  One of my favorite things about working here is that amount of growth and support that is fostered by the team of teachers, both Honduran and American.  There is a collective effort to provide the best education possible and to guide the kids to becoming positive, creative, and influential members of the community.  I am inspired by the people that I work with and the children that I work for.