Sadie Keller ’19, a politics major, has been awarded a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship in Mexico.
Keller was spurred to apply for the assistantship in Mexico for a variety of reasons. While growing up in Lawrence, Kansas, she attended a church with a large Mexican-American community and is very interested in the country's history, music, and politics. Keller credits family ties to teaching for piquing her interest in a teaching assistantship.
“I grew up around awesome female teachers; my sister, aunt, and godmother are all teachers. I think I was primed to see the challenges of the profession.”
While at Oberlin, Keller was involved in a host of on-campus activities, but it was her off-campus experience that she believes will prepare her most for the Fulbright. Keller helps coordinate the El Centro Volunteer Initiative (ECVI), a volunteer program that connects 40 to 50 Oberlin volunteers with legal permanent residents in Lorain County, and works directly with the nonprofit El Centro in Lorain, Ohio. ECVI runs English communication and training classes for individuals planning to take the U.S. Citizenship Exam.
“This program helped introduce me to teaching, classroom management, and pedagogy,” says Keller. “I learned so much from my students and enjoyed creating a fun, educational environment for them.”
During her assistantship, Keller will also be working as a legal assistant at a migrant shelter. There, she hopes to focus on topics like historical memory, community-building, and politics by leading students through exercises in writing, storytelling, and interviewing.
Keller hopes the Fulbright experience will help her gain deeper insight into U.S.-Mexico relations, which she sees as beneficial to her career.
“Through the Fulbright, I hope to understand the relationship between Mexico and the United States from a new perspective,” says Keller. “I plan to apply this experience in immigration law, political advocacy, or nonprofit management.
Post-Fulbright, Keller plans to work on a 2020 political campaign and eventually attend law school.
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