Tanesha Waid

International Experience Country:
Cohort Year:
Home Institution:

Arcadia University

Heinz Programming Area:
International Experience Summary:

Tanesha Waid spent four weeks in a small town right outside of Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam. Here, she lived and volunteered in the Truyen Tin orphanage. This orphanage is home to roughly 67 children ranging from infants to older teens. This experience was set up through A Broader View volunteer corps. For the beginning half of her program Tanesha was the only volunteer from A Broader View so creating lesson plans and picking class material was all up to her. Armed with only a Vietnamese-English picture dictionary and the translations done by the staff at the orphanage, Tanesha created lessons that would keep her high energy students interested and focused. This was particularly challenging as these lessons occurred during their summer break. The class had students ranging from the age of 8 to 15. Though the primary focus of Tanesha’s program was on these ESL classes that she taught from Monday-Friday for two hours a day, she was also able to help take care of the babies, play with the children, and lend a hand for meal preparation. She also got to explore the country during off time on the weekends. The ability to speak English is very important in Vietnam because as it helps to open up many job opportunities for people. Thus, Tanesha also found herself teaching English to the staff of the orphanage as well as to friends that she made during free time. Most of the children were too shy to speak English outside of class so Tanesha got to know them by playing with them. This involved constantly spinning small children around in circles, paging through Vietnamese pop star magazines with teenage girls, and playing barefoot soccer in the kitchen with teenage boys. Though life in the orphanage was tiring, with the average day starting at 7:30AM and ending at 10:00PM it was very much a new adventure every day. Tanesha has gained confidence and insight on teaching and hopes to teach ESL abroad once again after graduation.

Community Engagement Experience Summary:

CEE Title: A Knight of Giving

For her CEE, Tanesha organized A Knight of Giving, an opportunity for these silenced people to be heard in a roundtable discussion. Students from the Juvenile Law Center, a foster youth advocacy group were invited to participate in a panel discussion about the foster care system. The volunteer corps A Broader View was also in attendance. In this event, students learned about both the foster care system in the United States, but also their opportunities to volunteer in orphanages abroad. Through her benefit lunch, money was raised to donate to the Truyen Tin Orphanage in Vietnam while raising awareness for fostered youth in Philadelphia.