Anthropology and sociology major Katherine Young ’19 (Birmingham, Alabama) participated in Centre College’s Centre-in-China program and interned with Stepping Stones China, a non-profit organization in Shanghai with a mission to improve the education and general welfare of disadvantaged children.
“This semester, I taught six classes of English three times a week at migrant schools in Shanghai to grades second and fourth. Each class contained about 56 students,” Young said. “Additionally, I was site coordinator for one of the migrant schools. My duties included managing volunteers’ schedules and coordinating with the non-profit.”
As a Chinese adoptee, originally from Shanghai, Young said she knew she wanted to study abroad in her home country.
“Thankfully, through Centre’s wonderful study abroad program, I was given the opportunity to do so,” she added. “Not only did I want to get closer to my roots, but I wanted to practice my Mandarin speaking skills. Beginning with the introduction class at Centre, I have taken six semesters of Chinese, and I have participated in Centre’s Summer Language Institute.”
During her time at Centre, Young has been heavily involved with the College’s International Student Orientation. For this year’s orientation for the Class of 2022, she had the privilege of being a co-chief international student orientation leader.
“Just being able to interact and foster deep relationships with students from all different backgrounds has helped me prepare for this internship with Stepping Stones China,” she added.
Young said she has always loved school, including the concept of learning, student-teacher relationships and cultivating lifelong friendships with fellow classmates.
“It broke my heart when I heard someone did not like going to school,” she explained. “From a young age, teaching has always been a passion of mine. This internship gave me the tools and resources to get in the classroom and implement entire lesson plans.
“It means the world to me to have had this internship,” she continued. “I also have learned to be more patient. I have learned about the challenges that come with teaching a foreign language to students when you cannot use their native language to help explain concepts.”
by Kerry Steinhofer
December 17, 2018