Olancho Aid Spotlight: Emily Hoefs
Hometown: Greeley, Colorado
University: University of Northern Colorado
When did you join Olancho Aid?
I joined Olancho Aid in January.
How did you first hear about Olancho Aid?
I first heard about Olancho Aid last summer. I was interning at Catholic Relief Services at their global headquarters in Baltimore, MD. I loved the work I was doing, but I had a stronger desire to work more closely with the people I was serving. So a fellow intern/friend introduced me to the Catholic Volunteer Network. It is there that I saw this opportunity to volunteer in Honduras for a few months. The more research I did, the more I felt that Olancho Aid would be a great opportunity for me to pursue. A few months later I found myself in Honduras volunteering with Olancho Aid!
What is your role at Olancho Aid?
I am an English tutor at IBSC. I organized and implemented the tutoring program to better help students get the attention that they needed to excel in English.
What is your favorite part of your job?
My favorite part of my job is seeing students get excited about learning something. I think learning should be enjoyable and fun, so I try my best to incorporate fun activities and games. I’ve found this method to be quite helpful because during the activity or game students let down their guard. The students learn better this way, even if they don’t realize it!
Do you have a favorite memory of your time at Olancho Aid?
One of my favorite memories from my time at Olancho Aid was when we had a soccer match between the teachers and the students at IBSC. I was the only girl who played out of both teams. The students were shocked to see a girl play! They said things like, “Miss, you’re going to play soccer?!” and my response was simple, “Of course! Why not?” I may not have been a particularly great player, but everyone was really supportive and excited. It felt good to represent my fellow women on the field.
How would you describe your class?
I would describe my class as a place to learn. That means I encourage students to ask questions and to not be afraid to make mistakes; after all, that’s how we learn. I grade based on the student’s participation instead of what they get right and what they get wrong. My class is for tutoring, so it’s structured a bit differently than the average class. I try to cater the topics to what I see the students need to improve upon. I ask students for their feedback on lessons and activities because it’s important to me to know that the students find tutoring helpful.
What is a fun fact about yourself?
Many people think I am from a different country because I have a slight accent. The truth is that I was born and raised in the U.S., I just talk weird. 🙂