WHS alum to travel abroad to teach English

Sarah Coffey admits to being “nervous” about her first trip out of the country in September. She expects she’ll get over the nerves pretty quickly, though.

“I’m not sure what I’ll be doing. I could be teaching 8-year-olds or adults,” said Coffey, a 2006 Waynesboro High School graduate who will be leaving soon for a year in Ecuador, where she will be teaching English.

Coffey is focused for now on raising money to pay her expenses for the trip – $5,000 all told. An admitted math-phobe, she has been crunching numbers like a seasoned CPA, raising more than $2,000 toward the goal, with a July 22 charity golf tournament at the Waynesboro Country Club next on her agenda.

This fall she will be in Ecuador under the auspices of WorldTeach, a nonprofit founded in 1986 that coordinates educational-assistance activities around the world.

Coffey was attracted to the program out of a desire at first to expand her own horizons.

“I keep thinking about how much this country has given me – the opportunity to learn, to expand my knowledge, to get my bachelor’s degree, to get my master’s degree. And I look at other students my age, younger, older, that don’t get that opportunity. I’m taking this as a lifetime experience, a privilege, to expand my knowledge and help others be able to see the opportunities out in the world,” Coffey said.

A key for her students, she hopes, is an ability to communicate in English that can provide them with economic opportunities in addition to cultural enrichment.

“Tourism can be an important part of the economy in Ecuador. The more students can converse easily in English, the better positioned they will be for jobs in that sector, and maybe the better off they will be as a result,” Coffey said.

You can follow Sarah’s preparations for Ecuador and her time there on her blog, El Capitulo Siguiente.

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