Mariah Butchko

International Experience Country:
South Africa
Cohort Year:
Home Institution:

University of Pittsburgh | Johnstown

Heinz Programming Area:
International Experience Summary:

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.

Community Engagement Experience Summary:

CEE Title: Step Out: get comfortable with being uncomfortable

Our CEE consisted of three major components. The first was an interactive questionnaire lead by Logan McIntosh designed to grasp the attention of the audience, expose them to various viewpoints and opinions of others, and promote their overall engagement in the presentation experience. The second component consisted of a guest speaker. Dr. Brooks, the Vice President of Student Affairs at the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown as well as information for effective communication techniques regarding potential areas of conflict presented by Kaitlyn Pawlowski. Finally, a short session designed to engage the audience in putting their newly learned skills into practice through various scenarios presented by Mariah Butchko to tie it all together.