Hello, everyone! My name is Shobana and I have just joined the team at Asian American LEAD as the new DC Middle and High School Programs Coordinator. I am very excited to be a part of AALEAD and to meet all of my youth! I graduated from the George Washington University, majoring in International Affairs concentrating in Sociocultural Anthropology. A few years after graduating, because of my fascination with other cultures and people, I decided to live and teach English abroad in China. My first year, I taught middle and high school students in a small town in Hunan Province, while also implementing a series of service projects to further student’s engagement with English. Some of the service projects included an online and published English magazine highlighting the students’ creativity, purchasing a new laptop complete with ESL software, and a Christmas Talent Show/competition. My second year, I taught English and served as an NGO resource at a junior college for the physically disabled in Guangzhou. I taught four classes focusing on oral English and culture and also got involved with many of the projects, events, and field trips happening on campus. Through this experience, I was able to learn more about each of my students’ hopes, dreams, aspirations, and how they viewed the world. Both years in China, I developed strong relationships with my students, which ignited my passion for working with youth and education.
While teaching in China, I was inspired to witness firsthand some of my initially shy students owning their voices and identities and I am grateful to continue in this line of work with the team at AALEAD. I’m looking forward to starting this new chapter in my life.