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Brittney Gibbons, '12, wins fellowship to teach English in China

| By Nick Alexopulos

Recent Loyola University Maryland graduate Brittney Gibbons, ’12, has been awarded a fellowship by Teach For China to teach English at a school in rural China for two years.

The program brings together a group of exceptional recent graduates of universities across the United States and China in an effort to give elementary- and middle school-age Chinese students living in underdeveloped, underserved areas access to a quality education that is largely unavailable outside of the country’s urban centers. Without educational intervention, these already marginalized students are likely to remain trapped in a cycle of poverty.

“I’ve been inspired so much by my own education at Loyola that I think it’s extraordinarily important to go out and inspire others, to help the solve great disparity of educational injustice,” said Gibbons.

The political science major and Asian studies minor from Buffalo, N.Y., arrives in China in late June 2012 and will learn where she will be placed after nine weeks of language and immersion training. She’ll teach up to eight classes per day, six days a week, at her assigned school, with the potential to remain at the same school for the full two years or switch schools based on resource need. While most of her teaching will be courses on conversational English, Gibbons could also be tasked with teaching lower-level math and sciences courses.

Gibbons, who studied abroad in Loyola’s Bangkok program, was drawn to Teach For China because she felt a “strong pull to live for others.” She was encouraged to apply by Janine Holc, Ph.D., associate professor of political science, and Carsten Vala, Ph.D., assistant professor of political science. When she was accepted during the spring semester of her senior year, she became the first Loyola student to go into the Teach For China program.

“I really like to challenge what I think I’m comfortable with, and I know that if I’m always doing things I’m comfortable with I’m not growing or learning,” Gibbons said.

About Teach For China:
Established in 2008, Teach For China is inspired by the vision that one day, all Chinese children will have access to a quality education. Teach For China takes a unique approach to eliminating educational inequity by enlisting the U.S. and China’s most promising future leaders in the effort. In partnership with the global network Teach For All, Teach For China recruits, selects, trains, and supports outstanding U.S. and Chinese graduates to work side-by-side to deliver an excellent education in high poverty, rural Chinese communities.

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