Taryn Kim is a Senior at Polytechnic High School in California and first joined Outreach360 in Nicaragua with a group from her school a couple of years ago. She is currently taking part in our Virtual Volunteer Pilot Program that began earlier this month. Outreach360 volunteers are connecting over Zoom with our students in Nicaragua to support them in practicing their English speaking skills. We asked Taryn to share with us about both her in-person and remote volunteer experiences with Outreach360.
What is your background with Outreach360?
I volunteered at the Learning Center in Jinotega two years ago with my high school. My classmates and I spent ten days crafting lesson plans and teaching them to our students, intermixed with trips to the Selva Negra Coffee Farm, Peña de la Cruz, and other cultural sites. I returned home with a newfound sense of understanding about global education disparities, an appreciation and love for my students, and a desire to one
day volunteer again with Outreach360.
Tell us about connecting with your students remotely over Zoom.
My wish [to volunteer again] has been realized through the Virtual Volunteer Pilot Program. My old students and I have reconnected over Zoom, where we have an opportunity to compare our cultural norms and lifestyles amidst discussing ethical and societal questions.
At a time of uncertainty and fear due to the outbreak, I look forward to my daily conversations with my students as a constant source of joy and fulfillment.
What changes have you seen in the students since you were in Nicaragua?
I continue to be amazed at the students’ growth. When I was in Nicaragua, we were teaching the students terms for the weather. Now, we are able to discuss the nuances of artificial intelligence, beauty standards, and gender disparities. It is readily apparent to me that these students are dedicated to the program, which makes all the difference in their progression towards fluency.
Why did you choose to continue to serve with Outreach360?
It is the commitment of the students and the cross-cultural connection that keeps me returning to Outreach360. I have witnessed the impact that the program has on students over short and long periods of time, and I am so grateful to have been a part of that mission.
Are you interested in serving our students virtually? Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Outreach360 2020 summer internships will be conducted remotely, from wherever you are in the world. Internships in the areas of English as a Foreign Language (EFL), Health & Science, Math, and Spanish are available. To learn more and apply today, visit https://www.outreach360.org/remoteinternships.