The night before Brigada Eskwela, I landed in Manila, wide-eyed and curious, breathing in a new experience, in a corner of the world that I had never set foot in before. As I arrived at San Diego Elementary School, I was greeted by the warm, welcoming faces of the staff and volunteers of Teach for the Philippines. It was truly inspiring to see how engaged Teach for the Philippines, the students’ parents and the students were in Brigada Eskwela and their own calculated and effective attempt to make San Diego Elementary School a better place to educate the Filipino youth.
One thing that I was certainly told about, but had never experienced firsthand ,was the Manila heat. Despite the sun and sweat, we all dove right into the classrooms and started to dust and mop the floors, working together until the classroom was clean. It was rewarding to see the cooperation between volunteers and the determination to leave the school a bit cleaner and a bit easier for the Filipino students to get the academic attention that they rightly deserve.
I am so thrilled that Brigada Eskwela was my first experience in the Philippines. Emerging myself in a country that I had never been to before, experiencing a foreign education system, and becoming acquainted with the Filipino people was the ideal experience for me to begin my seven week stay here in Manila. I am eager to help contribute to the Teach for the Philippines movement during my internship and I am so excited to be part of an organization that is doing such great things for its country and its educational system.
Allie Kim, 19, is a student at New York University and is spending her summer as an intern at Teach for the Philippines. She enjoys meeting new people, working with children and obsessing over cats of all kinds.