Every year, EnglishWorks helps hundreds of Brazilian students improve their English language skills, ultimately helping them to grow more confident in their communication. This important work is made possible by our incredible volunteers who dedicate their time and energy to their community. Each week, we’re going to be expressing our gratitude by featuring one of these extraordinary volunteers and sharing their EnglishWorks story with you!
Why did you decide to volunteer with EnglishWorks?
I wanted to be a volunteer with EnglishWorks so that I could share my passion for English and make a positive impact on students in Brazil, which is one of my favourite countries in the world!
What was your favorite part about volunteering with EnglishWorks?
I really enjoy seeing my students’ progress and the effort they make to express their thoughts in English. The one-on-one conversation I have with them outside of the in-class dialogues are always fun.
What did you do before you became a volunteer?
I came to Colombia to teach English and started volunteering with EnglishWorks around the same time. Before moving to South America, I was living in Ireland where I worked in a hospitality and tourism district.
What’s the strangest thing you’ve ever eaten?
The strangest thing I’ve ever eaten is a Colombian fruit salad. It consists of a variety of fruit, ice cream, condensed milk, shredded cheese, and mayonnaise! Apart from that, also in Colombia, I drank some hot chocolate with… again, cheese. Colombians are crazy about cheese…
What is one fact about you that your students don’t know?
My students probably don’t know that I’m studying Portuguese or that I’m totally in love with Brazilian food, music, and culture. It all started when I was 13-years-old and I watched one of the soap operas from Rio de Janeiro. While I was watching, I said to myself, “this is my place on Earth!” Many years later, I met some Brazilian friends, had a Brazilian boyfriend, and discovered pagode, sertanejo, and feijoada. My passion and love for Brazil reached its’ highest point when I finally visited the country this year—If I had a chance to move to Brazil and teach English there, I’d do it immediately! I guess that’s not a fun fact, but definitely one of my biggest dreams.
If you could trade places with one celebrity for a day, who would it be and why?
I would trade places with wildlife photographer Franz Lanting. He gets to travel to some pretty amazing places and see wild animals up close and in their natural environment. That would be an amazing experience.