At GeoVisions we believe it takes a great person to give up the comforts of their home and tutor English abroad. We also believe they continue to do amazing things when they return home.
Recently we checked in with some past participants to see what they’re doing now and how teaching abroad has continued to impact their lives. Here are some of their “We Are GeoVisions” stories. Look for more personal stories on our website in the coming months!
Benjamin Garstka, 26, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Ben Garstka spending time along the Amstel River in Amsterdam
Seven years ago, Ben wanted to visit Spain- but also wanted a “project” while there. He decided to tutor English abroad to a host family. Originally from the Boston area, Ben believes that experience gave him the confidence to continue traveling the world and take on new challenges. In fact, he now lives in Amsterdam and enjoys biking to work at a local university “through one of the most beautiful cities in Europe.” This summer Ben will be going to the Balkans something he doesn’t think he would have done without his GeoVisions experience.
Aprill Bodlak, 26, Chiclayo, Peru
Aprill Bodlak with a group of women she taught in Peru (she's the one on the far-right in the front row.)
When Aprill (shown at the right) wanted an opportunity to learn Spanish and make an impact on someone else’s life, she took the initiative and traveled to Peru in 2010. While there, she was exposed to an impoverished environment, opening her eyes to a community of people with a different background. She says “I can be a blessing to others, but also learn to be less ethnocentric.” Aprill’s experience was so amazing; she decided to pursue educational and professional development opportunities in Peru- where she has now made her home and continues to teach English. She also enjoys painting and music.
Danielle Gawronski, 36, San Antonio, Texas
Danielle is most passionate about helping others, which is why she traveled to Jordan to tutor English abroad with GeoVisions back in 2010. Aware of many of the stereotypes about the Middle East, Danielle traveled with an open mind. She says it was “a wonderful trip with people who were just like me.” Danielle now works with underprivileged students, helping them find jobs. She is most passionate about assisting people in taking the next step forward in their lives.
Molly Aubry, 29, Lake Worth, Florida
Molly Aubry enjoying the view around San Sebastian, Spain
In 2009, Molly quit her design job, packed her bags, and headed to Barcelona to teach a family English. To continue learning Spanish, she then moved to Central America for nine months. She now focuses her career on art and multicultural education. She resides in South Florida, where she volunteers as a tutor for the Guatemalan community, tutors professionally, and teaches at an art center. In May of 2015, Molly will be teaching art workshops in Moldova with the U.S. State Department. She will then be moving to Berlin for six months for an artist residency. Her 2016 trip to India and Southeast Asia is already in the works! Her favorite quote is from Pablo Picasso - "Anything you can imagine is real."
Patricia Clark, 66, Bismarck, North Dakota
Initially, Patricia was nervous about traveling alone to Cost Rica to tutor English abroad to a host family in 2009. But what an experience it was! Since then, she spent a year in Kenya working with orphans who have AIDS. Patricia says her prior experience with GeoVisions was a key factor in that decision. She also currently volunteers at the Mission Corps. Her inspiration is her two daughters, who are adopted from Columbia.