Monday, 18 April 2011

A message from Maggie, one of our former interns

I asked one of our former interns, Maggie, to write a bit about the work she did with us between October and December of 2010. This is the letter she wrote: 
'I studied abroad in the American fall of 2010, through a partnership that my university (the University of North Carolina) has with the University of Cape Town. There were 20 of us that came to both study and work in the most beautiful city in the world, and we were certainly not disappointed.
I had the privilege to work at the Zonnebloem Shine Centre four mornings a week with the amazing Karen. My first morning at the Centre I watched the boys sprint wildly up to the hill, and I had no idea how quickly time would fly and I would be hugging them goodbye as they ate giant cupcakes. The experience was everything I could have asked for. I tutored amazing kids, and whether their milestone was spelling “cat” or reading an entire blue-level book, I always loved seeing how much progress they were able to make in the short time I was there. I also learned so much from Karen and the other volunteers at Zonnebloem, and they truly made my experience in South Africa what it was. From advice to food to rides to vocab help (“what’s a cozzie??”), I cannot say thanks enough for all of the support and knowledge that everyone at Shine provided me with.
By the time I returned to the United States, I knew I wanted to work in the field of education. Before going to Cape Town, teaching was only one of my many potential career options, but when I got home, the memory of my Shine students would not leave me alone. With Kathryn’s help I applied to Teach For America, an organization that takes recent college graduates and places them as teachers in low-performing schools throughout the country. I found out a week ago that I will be teaching elementary school next year in Memphis, Tennessee! Teach For America, like the Shine Centre, works to alleviate inequalities in schools, and I know that with my Shine experience I will feel right at home doing this kind of work.
Thank you for everything, and all my love,
It is always good to hear from our students, and we wish Maggie every success in the future.

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