Travel for a Cause Winners Announced!

CET International, in collaboration with CETUSA and AiDucatius Foundation, is pleased to announce the winners of this year’s Teachers Travel for a Cause contest: Amanda Davis and Christy Tripp-Arkema!

The purpose of the Travel for a Cause contest is to focus a spotlight on the value of education in raising people out of poverty. These two teachers will be spending eight days traveling Ecuador with a visit to a school in Esmeraldas which is supported by CET International through AiDucatius Foundation.  We will be following their adventures while on their trip and checking in with them throughout the next year to see how their trip has impacted their teaching and their perspective.

Amanda Davis – Spanish teacher, Lewisburg High School, Olive Branch, MS

Amanda Davis in Mexico

Amanda Davis in Mexico

“One of the most important jobs of a teacher is to help students grow into productive citizens. With all of the wonderful modern advances, the productive citizen of the 21st century is globally-minded. As a teacher in the 21st century, it is crucial that my students are educated on the nature of today’s world, and the new skills that will be required for success globally. As Thomas Friedman said in The World is Flat, “One of the newest figures to emerge on the world stage in recent years is the social entrepreneur. This is usually someone who burns with desire to make a positive social impact on the world, but believes that the best way of doing it is, as the saying goes, not by giving poor people a fish and feeding them for a day, but by teaching them to fish, in hopes of feeding them for a lifetime.” I desperately want my students to be social entrepreneurs who care about issues greater than themselves. I believe that providing them with a broadened perspective through the knowledge and experiences I gain on this trip is a crucial step in this process.”

Christy Tripp-Arkema –  ESL teacher, Byron Center High School and Middle School, Byron Center, MI

Christy Tripp-Arkema with her students

Christy Tripp-Arkema with her students

“Because I teach ESL, I have a lot of freedom in what I can teach in my classes.  I loved teaching the lessons on poverty and education in my higher-skills ESL class this year because of this essay competition.  My students were able to learn so much about poverty around the world, and we all shared stories with each other about the poverty we have seen or experienced throughout our own lives.  Next year I want to incorporate the same lessons into that same class (I will have different students), and also into my beginning ESL class.  Sharing stories about poverty and education, especially personal stories, is a great way to incorporate speaking and writing into ESL classes.  We learned a lot about research as we searched for stories about others who rose out of poverty due to access to education.  And the essay-writing process itself was a wonderful teaching tool that helped my students better prepare for writing essays in all of their general education classes.”