Danielle Morgan’s love of travel and learning about other cultures compelled her to start volunteering at the IEC in 2012. She also understood the challenges of learning another language after taking several months of Spanish classes at a local college.
“It had been 13 years since I had taken Spanish classes, so I was practically learning the language all over again,” she says. “That experience prepared me to be a classroom assistant at the IEC. It reminded me how overwhelming it is to learn a new language. I can empathize with the students.”
Danielle helps teach the students, but she’s learned a lot, too. Every week, new students arrive from countries around the globe. She loves hearing them talk about their countries and cultures.
“I’m amazed by the stories some of the students tell about their experiences in their home countries,” Danielle says. “Many of them overcame major challenges and left their family members behind to come to the U.S. I’m inspired by their courage and tenacity.”
She also is inspired by how committed they are to coming to class every day. “Many of the students work all day and then come to class for three hours in the evening,” Danielle says. “I’m amazed at how hard they work and how dedicated they are to learning English. They want a better life for themselves and their families.”
Danielle says she leaves the IEC with a smile on her face each week. “I just love seeing those light bulb moments when a student learns a new word or grasps a new concept,” she says. “I find great reward in small moments like those every week.”