My name is Hannah and I am originally from Fortune, Newfoundland, now studying Fitness and Health Promotion at Algonquin College in Ottawa, Ontario.
I first traveled to the coastal community of Monte Cristi in the Dominican Republic with the AC Hub in February of 2019. There I was able to spend my reading week both serving and gaining monumental memories.
An email first notified me of the Virtual Internship and the rest seemingly fell into place. After being delayed a semester from graduating, and the pandemic imposing many restrictions, I assumed that my original plans for the spring-my intention to facilitate youth empowerment within the realm of wellness and nutrition-had passed. I had not even considered virtual education. Suddenly, there seemed to be a new abundance of possibilities.
Coming from rural Newfoundland, I know too well the disadvantages of distance education and the effect that a lack of opportunity can hold. I have been extremely fortunate to have had various learning opportunities and travel experiences, including my initial trip with Outreach360, and have been since called to give back into the same ecosystem that has gifted me so much.
This was both an opportunity to serve and to gain new knowledge. The practical and tangible educational lessons taught me how I can apply various educational techniques to my own community.
There is an undoubted essence with Outreach360, from all staff, students, and volunteers, that we are in this together. The delicacy of encouragement, equipping, and training, ensured we were prepared to not only deliver optimal education for the students but to find and develop our own inner strengths. Teamwork was crucial, and intentional lesson planning was fundamental.
On top of the teaching aspect, there was a great deal to learn in our daily learning activities. From conversational Spanish lessons, virtual tours of Nicaragua, and group discussions on social change, the entirety of this internship was designed in a way that equipped and empowered interns, to pass along these skills and knowledge for both students in Jinotega and back to our home communities.
What I was not expecting, was to learn as much as I did from the students. So often, we underestimate youth. Seeing the dedication and drive in the students, harnessing their various passions and talents, to ensure they are leading the way in an evolved world. Our digital classrooms were collaborative and cooperative, with healthy discussion and held many opportunities for artistic expression through the use of academic studies.
For those considering, I would strongly urge you to jump right in and release any concerns you may have. Education is the tool that will shape the future, and youth are leading the change. As the world is ever-changing, and new technologies are developed every day, this form of virtual learning will be a foundation in our current livelihood.
The youth are both the future, and the now-with equal
opportunity and access to education, it all is looking bright.
This Fall, Outreach360 is offering a unique two-way language learning internship. With just a two-hour commitment each Saturday for twelve weeks, you will provide our students with the valuable opportunity of speaking with native and like-native English speakers, and in turn, you will have the opportunity to practice and grow your Spanish skills. Learn more here.