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Alumni Spotlight

Alumni Spotlight – Xenia A.

Introducing our Ambassador Teacher alumna who is in the spotlight this month—Xenia A.! Originally from Costa Rica, Xenia embarked on her adventure as an Ambassador Teacher in 2006. After dedicating herself to teaching in the Rowan-Salisbury School System in North Carolina, Xenia has returned to her home country, equipped with fresh ideas and renewed enthusiasm to continue her teaching career. We recently caught up with Xenia to hear about her latest endeavors.

Reflecting on her experience teaching in the U.S.

Q: What schools did you teach at and when?
A: I began teaching in the summer of 2006 at North Rowan Middle School.

Q: What inspired you to apply to teach in the U.S.?
A: I wanted to grow as a professional and learn about the U.S. education system, as well as nurture my teaching point of view.

Q: What did you enjoy most about your time teaching in the U.S.?
A: I loved meeting amazing people who helped me throughout my journey. I had a wonderful principal and amazing co-workers who guided me and cheered me up all the time. I met awesome teachers from different countries—some that I even keep in contact with today!

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: Currently, I am residing in Costa Rica with my family.

Q: Are you still working in education or have you changed career paths? Please tell us about your current job!
A: Since I came back from North Carolina I have been teaching adults at a great institution in my country called the Instituto Nacional de Aprendizaje (INA). I have been teaching there for 16 years now—and it was because of my Participate Learning experience that I got that job. 

I teach English as a foreign language, and I prepare students to get jobs where they can use the skills they learn. I have had a lot of rewarding experiences and my former students have improved their way of life thanks to learning a foreign language.

Q: Do you have any other life updates that you would like to share with us and the Participate Learning Network?
A: During my time in North Carolina, I had a boyfriend in Costa Rica. We got married and now have a beautiful 7-year-old. We have been to the U.S.  several times and my daughter loves going to Disney—but who doesn’t?

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 had a really nice trip to Washington with one friend from the program and her husband. We had a blast!
  • I regularly met with two teachers from my country and it felt like being at home.
  • My mom and I spent a few days in New York and we saw some amazing places.

Interested in connecting with Xenia and following her journey? Are you a former Participate Learning alumna or alumnus? Visit our Ambassador Teacher Alumni page for resources and to stay connected to other teachers who completed the program through our community of practice.

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