International Teachers

Congratulations, Class of 2024 Ambassador Teacher Graduates!

For thousands of students each spring, graduation ceremonies mark a pivotal moment of achievement and transition. They celebrate the culmination of years of hard work, dedication, and perseverance, recognizing students’ accomplishments. Graduations also serve as a rite of passage, symbolizing the end of one chapter and the beginning of another.

Participate Learning’s Ambassador Teacher graduates were among those celebrating pivotal moments in their lives this spring. On Saturday, May 18, in Elon, NC, their five-year cultural exchange journeys of living and teaching in the United States culminated in the recognition of their accomplishments among friends, family, and colleagues at the Ambassador Teacher Graduation Ceremony and Reception. Though they are now moving back to their home countries or starting new adventures, their collective impact on students, fellow educators, and communities will be felt for years to come.

Teaching in the U.S.A.: unique challenges and opportunities

When these teachers landed at the Raleigh-Durham International Airport in the summer of 2019 to begin their cultural exchange journeys to teach in the U.S.A., they, like all of us, had no idea that a global pandemic would profoundly alter their lives. The class of 2024 has faced unprecedented challenges, but its members have also made lifelong friends, explored new places, and had significant effects on their students and communities.

Addressing the graduates during the ceremony, Participate Learning’s CEO, David Young, invited them to reflect on who they have become over the past five years.

“You had to overcome so much to be here today,” said Young. “What kind of person were you in 2019 when you arrived? And who are you today? I bet you would say you’re stronger, more confident, that you could go anywhere and be successful.”

Teachers also got to hear from one of their fellow graduates, Manfredo De la Cruz Interiano, a dual language immersion teacher from Guatemala. 

Manfredo described his time teaching at Cape Hatteras Elementary and living in the U.S. as one that has helped him understand what he is capable of.

“Participate Learning has been more than just a cultural exchange program for me; it has been a catalyst for personal growth and also transformation,” he said.

Connections, cultural experiences, leadership, and learning

Manfredo outlined the unique experiences Participate Learning offers for international educators through its program: forging connections, immersing in cultural experiences, building leadership skills, and pursuing continued learning.

He explained that the bedrock of the class of 2024’s success has been their shared passion for education, their friendships, and their support for one another.

Through cultural experiences, teachers explored the rich history of the U.S., and shared their own heritages with students and their communities. These experiences have given the graduates a deeper understanding of others and our shared humanity.

Manfredo also described the leadership and learning opportunities he has had over the past five years: earning his master’s degree at Elon University, leading projects, mentoring others, and seizing every opportunity to expand his knowledge and skills.

His words and descriptions served as a representation of the experiences of 234 Ambassador Teacher graduates teaching in the U.S.A., and their collective impact on their students and broader communities.

“Our presence here is not just a celebration of our individual achievements; it is a testament of the global impact we have made,” said Manfredo.

Before teachers walked across the stage to receive their diplomas and celebrate with family and friends, Manfredo left the audience with a few closing thoughts:

“As we stand on the precipice of a new chapter in our lives, I want to leave you with a few words of advice: Embrace uncertainty. It is the crucible in which our most significant achievements are forged,” he said.

“The world awaits, and I have no doubt you will continue to inspire, live, and make a difference wherever your path may take you.”

Thank you, class of 2024, for five years of uniting our world through global learning. It has been our honor to host you, and we are so grateful for all your contributions! We welcome you to our Ambassador Teacher Alumni Network, and we look forward to following along for your next chapter.

Interested in a glimpse of Ambassador Teacher Graduation? Take a peek here!

To learn more about how to teach in the U.S.A. through Participate Learning’s cultural exchange program, please read about our requirements and application process.

Caroline Weeks

Caroline Weeks is a marketing consultant at Participate Learning. She is passionate about using the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals as a framework for global learning.

Recent Posts

Dual Language Excellence Checklist: Fine-Tune Your Program for Success

A strong dual language program is essential for developing bilingualism, biliteracy, and intercultural understanding, and…

3 days ago

Summer Spanish Lessons: Bridging Cultures and Overcoming Challenges

At Participate Learning, we recently celebrated our Ambassador Teacher graduates, who are now returning home…

7 days ago

Global Competency: Flexibility

Readying students for postsecondary opportunities means helping them hone their flexibility, communication, and critical thinking.…

1 week ago

Teacher of the Year Honorable Mention: Megan Deal, Learning

This is the fourth and final in a series of posts celebrating the accomplishments of…

2 weeks ago

The Essential Bridge: Durable Skills in the Classroom and Beyond

Imagine a young professional, Alex, sitting in a brightly lit conference room, nervously tapping their…

3 weeks ago

Participate Learning Earns Spot on List of 2024 Top 100 Inspiring Workplaces in North America

Landing at No. 43, the organization was lauded for its strong company culture and sense…

3 weeks ago