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Alumni Spotlight

Alumni Spotlight – Sandra G.

Introducing our Ambassador Teacher alumna spotlighted this month—Sandra G.! Hailing from Colombia, Sandra embarked on her Ambassador Teacher adventure in 2013 and graduated from the program in 2018. After a fulfilling stint teaching in North Carolina, Sandra has relocated to Canada with her family, bringing with her a treasure trove of fresh ideas and the zeal to forge ahead in her teaching career. Join us to learn about Sandra’s enriching experiences and her latest ventures.

Reflecting on her experience teaching in the U.S.

Q: What schools did you teach at and when?
A: I taught for five years, from 2013 to 2018. I worked at two schools in North Carolina: Selma Elementary School in Johnston County, and Hodge Road Elementary School in Wake County, teaching Kindergarten and first grade.

Q: What inspired you to apply to teach in the U.S.?
A: What inspired me to apply to teach in the U.S. was that every day I saw more and more diversity of cultures in my classroom, so I made the decision that I should be the one to go out and learn to interact with people from other cultures and acquire important values about education.

Q: What did you enjoy most about your time teaching in the U.S.?
A: I cherished the broadened worldview I developed while teaching in the U.S. The constant interaction with diverse backgrounds nurtured my creativity and fostered values such as empathy, acceptance, tolerance, and respect.

What life looks like now

Q: Where are you now? Are you living in your home country or elsewhere in the world right now?
A: I am currently living in Vancouver, Canada.

Q: Are you still working in education or have you changed career paths? Please tell us about your current job!
A: I have obtained the equivalency of my professional degree in the British Columbia Province and am ready to jump into the field of education in this country. I have been learning a lot about Early Childhood Education which has been a fascinating journey. The knowledge I am taking with me is highly valuable for my professional practice. I just took a course about BC K-12 Introduction to the School System and Professional Standards for Educators, and I am very excited about what I have learned so far. I don’t think I will ever stop learning and exploring new cultures and educational systems.

Q: Do you have any other life updates that you would like to share with us and the Participate Learning Network?
A: My family, including my husband Luis and daughter Salome, have joined me in Canada. We continue to embrace global adventures and are not planning to stop anytime soon. Our association with Participate Learning (formerly VIF) has enriched our lives both personally and professionally, opening numerous doors for us. Immersing ourselves in different cultures has allowed us to broaden our perspectives and build connections based on acknowledgment and respect.

Share a few facts about your time teaching in the U.S. Think about favorite memories, travel experiences, special moments, accomplishments, or other things that happened during your time with the program.

  • I was honored to be nominated for the Johnston County Schools’ Employee of the Month in 2013.
  • I received the Best Decorator award at Hodge Road Elementary in June 2018. I was thrilled to hear they thought my classroom looked like it came straight from a magazine!
  • I had the privilege of featuring on the cover of the promotional flyer for Hodge Road Elementary during the 2017-2018 school year.
  • I initiated classroom projects through DonorsChoose, a platform encouraging direct donations to public schools. This initiative helped us secure numerous Spanish books and essential furniture.

Interested in connecting with Sandra and following her journey? Connect with her on LinkedIn here.

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