Mariah Butchko

Bio Summary
Cohort Year: 
Home Institution: 
University of Pittsburgh-Johnstown
Heinz Programming Area: 
Study Abroad Country: 
South Africa
International Experience

Mariah spent several weeks in South Africa Studying history and culture as well as education. She channeled her focus on the Education programming area and inserted herself in the less fortunate schools of the townships. There she was able to strengthen her leadership skills as well as gather a better understanding of the struggles that those communities face. Mariah learned about the lack of basic necessary resources needed for the school communities to succeed. Through her service learning she formed a bond with her students. She was able to encourage them to continue to pursue their education and have a plan and positive attitude while doing so. She along with her classmates visited several local private and public schools, learning about their curriculum and standards for education. She had several conversations about education and politics with those students as well as current events that were happening at the time. Mariah gained an understanding of the luxuries we have in American schools and how much they benefit a positive learning environment. She has created several lasting relationships with local members of her host community and hopes to continue communication with her students throughout the school years. This experience has molded and shaped Mariah’s goals to focus around helping those schools of a less fortunate community.

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