This month, we are honored to highlight one of our incredible supporters on the ground in Gracias, Miss Amanda. Amanda is Ada’s mentor-tutor, and has been working in Honduras since August of 2017 when she began teaching Ada’s fourth grade English classes. That’s when she first got to know the Ramirez family.
Living and working abroad is not new for Amanda. She went to primary and secondary school in Abu Dhabi where her parents worked. After that, she attended University of South Florida (Go Bulls!). Upon completing her undergrad studies, Amanda worked in an orphanage in Indonesia while attaining her TEFL certification. It was then that she decided to enroll in a masters program in Education. After some work in social services, she decided to pursue her passion for teaching at the Minerva Bilingual School. We are so excited to have her international education expertise on our OFH team.
Working as Ada’s teacher last year, Amanda says that she immediately connected with Ada, and really hoped to become her mentor-tutor. When we approached Amanda about the role last summer, she says, “As Ada’s teacher, I developed a very strong bond with her from the beginning. It was a no-brainer for me to take the opportunity to continue working with her.”
In addition to education, Amanda is passionate about health and fitness. Amanda has been a great example for Ada in this way; the two enjoy practicing yoga and creating nutritious afternoon snacks together. This has been a great opportunity for Ada to learn healthy living habits with Amanda as her role model. Amanda told us this story:
“Recently, we have been enjoying “make your own yogurt” bowls after school with yogurt, cheerios, nuts, raisins (she is obsessed with raisins), cinnamon, and apples. However, the supermarkets have been out of the natural, plain yogurt that I always buy. Ada came to the store with me recently to look for it and saw there were many types of sweetened, flavored yogurts, but I told her they didn’t have what I was looking for. She looked up at me and said, “WE like it ‘sin sabor’, right, Miss?!” I loved that she saw natural, non-flavored yogurt as “our thing”. This definitely made me smile.”
We’re also thrilled to announce that Amanda is our new International Education Coordinator for Primary School students! In addition to her work with Ada, this month Amandawill also manage the delivery of our services on the ground in Gracias for our three Primary students — Ada, Estefany and Kenneth. From managing mentor-tutors, making tuition payments, to interfacing with Minerva Bilingual School, Amanda is our point-person to make sure these kids have access to everything they need in order to be successful and to feel loved and supported.
And Amanda doesn’t just see her work with Ada and the other primary students as a service in the short-term. She has big dreams for Ada and the rest of the family. Like us, she believes that education is empowerment. She told us,”It would be impossible for these children to attend school without OFH. Period... Without the assistance of OFH and her bilingual education, a real career in her future would not be possible.”
Amanda is an invaluable asset to the OFH team, and we all look forward to seeing her continue to impact Ada’s life, and lives of all OFH students. Stay tuned!