Do you remember Agus, the literacy activist from Indonesia? Since meeting him last September, he has been volunteering with us as one of several class aides in a Beginning English class! “Many of our students face tremendous obstacles in their quest to learn English. Having someone like Agus with them in the classroom serves as a powerful motivator because he understands those challenges first hand and models the importance of perseverance against all odds,” says Dr. Carole Bausell, Director of Academic and Student Affairs. Below is an article Agus wrote about his volunteer experience:
Have you ever dreamed of getting an experience in teaching English in the USA? As an International Student who got an opportunity to study through Community College Initiative Program (CCIP) scholarship, being a part of this experience is a privilege. Since I got involved as a class aide in the Literacy Council of Northern Virginia (LCNV), I have been getting many experiences.
First, being a class aide allows me to meet highly qualified instructors. It has shown me with experience how to be a good tutor. Back in Indonesia, running a project that focuses on literacy (that aims to help and teach kids) allows me to learn more about how to be a good instructor and teacher. Being a part of LCNV brought me to a place where I can find so much knowledge and skills. Regarding of knowledge, assisting students at LCNV has given me such an once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. It has improved my pronunciation and vocabulary. In the classroom, students learn the pronunciation by repeating every word after the instructor. Thus, I can also learn it directly from the instructor. Becoming a class aide not only gives me a chance to help the students but it also helps me to improve my English abilities.
The second interesting experience being the class aide in the LCNV is my interaction with new people from other countries. There are ten students in the classroom. They are from Bolivia, Columbia, China, Vietnam, and Ethiopia. Being surrounded by them makes me realize that they have very strong passion in studying English.
Thirdly, seeing the LCNV staffs also makes me feel that the LCNV is not only a place to volunteer but also home where you find kindness and happiness. Once I am there, I find abundance of knowledge inside. Becoming the part of the LCNV is a privilege that I have never imagined before.
Finally, getting involved with LCNV is beyond expectation during my study in the USA. I don’t have enough words to convey how lucky I am as a part of this non-profit that engages people to improve English abilities and be more confident in themselves. Regardless what country you are from and which language you speak, LCNV is a place of inclusiveness and improvements.
In conclusion, LCNV is not only the non-profit that focuses on building the language skill but also improves people to get ready in the community, field of work, and take other great opportunities ahead. As a volunteer, I am glad to be a part of LCNV last fall semester. Therefore, I can’t wait to see other passionate students in the next spring semester!