Knowing where to start when speaking about my experience in the Champs program is something that I still struggle with. That is because my experience in this program and in Antigua has been overflowed with memories, learning opportunities, and overall personal growth moments over these past 3 years.
Going onto the island for my second time I was placed at a different school then my first year. Although I wasn’t going to be seeing any of the students, I had built connections with in the previous year, I was thrilled to have been able to dive into making new relationships at the Antigua All Girls High School. However, when I returned back to the Anchorage a fellow Champ was eager to tell me that one of my favorite students (Shhh …. I know there is no favorites) that I had built such a strong connection with had changed schools and was asking about me the whole day. Her and I continued to exchange letters through my colleagues over the next three weeks, counting down the days until we would get to reunite at Unity Games. As we drove along that beautiful coast line towards Urlings Primary my heart was full of gratitude. I was not grateful for that beautiful ocean view (if you know, you know), but grateful for the opportunities to build connections and relationships with students through teaching. At the end of the day these feelings that I had in this very moment are what fire my passion and drive to instill positive experiences to each one of my future students.
Thank you, Momma Jo, for igniting my passion and making these immense feelings I have when thinking about memories in your program even possible.