My name is Julie McKnew, I am a junior at Longwood University in Farmville Virginia, but I have lived in Roanoke my whole life. I’m an English as a Second Language major with a minor in Spanish. My general goal after graduation is to join the Peace Corp and travel around the world teaching English. I have always had a certain love and appreciation of different languages and cultures. In the past, I have had many opportunities to tutor, volunteer, and serve others; I’ve always known I wanted to teach. However, up until now, I have never actually taught adults before, but so far it has been one of my favorite experiences.
I was thrilled when I got the summer internship at Blue Ridge Literacy. I was even more excited when I learned that I would be doing what I want to do for the rest of my life. However, it has been about so much more than simply how to teach. For example, I have worked with several struggling speakers and readers. I could tell they were doing better and were more confident at the end of our time together than at the beginning. Even now, just a week later, they and the rest of our students have learned so much and are continuing to progress. This is one aspect about adults that I love working with. Their determination and motivation to always learn more is inspiring! In collaboration with our Executive Director, we have also been working on the importance of outreach and community through flyers and social media. I love that we are getting the whole experience and not only the teaching side through our classroom and 1:1 tutoring time.
I have been here about three weeks now and I’ve learned about running a business, networking, the importance of community, compassion, creating relationships, just how far drive and passion can get you, and so much more. Everyone is always very welcoming and constantly presenting me, and the other interns, with as many opportunities to excel as possible. I am blessed to have this internship this summer and I’m excited to see where this takes me.