This week on the blog, Kristen Fraley introduces herself
I’m Kristen and I am thrilled to join Impact Network’s Zambia team as an Education Development Intern! I’m from Florida but I’ve called Scotland home for the last year and a half. I recently completed a Master’s degree in International Relations from the University of Edinburgh. During this time, I specialized in Education Policy, Transitional Justice, and Africa in International Politics. I received a B.A. from Florida State University in International Affairs and Religion with a minor in Anthropology in 2012. Afterwards, I moved to the Czech Republic and became a certified English Teacher, spending two years working as a preschool, primary, secondary, and adult English teacher in Prague. I also held a position as an Observer at a Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) certification school, and I worked with teachers in training by observing their lessons and strategizing techniques for improvement. When I’m in Florida, I am a substitute teacher for Lee County School District. This role has granted me in-depth experience with students aged 4-18 and the stages of learning development.
One of the most brilliant things about teaching to me is seeing the “light bulb moment:” the way a student’s face lights up when they’ve figured out a challenging problem or improved in their abilities is so rewarding!
Why do you want to intern for Impact Network?
As the daughter of a teacher, I have always had a profound respect for education. I believe that education is the bedrock of society and that, within every mind, lies great potential waiting to be unlocked. To me, equal access to education is a right for every individual and I am committed to strengthening education infrastructure across the world. I am particularly interested in the use of sustainable technologies for providing education to off-the-grid communities, therefore, the work Impact Network does is truly up my alley! This internship initially caught my eye because it bridges my academic studies with my previous work experience and my future career goals. I ultimately aim to work in Education Policy and International Development. I am very excited to see firsthand Impact Network’s successful implementation of Zambian curriculum standards while providing a ‘learning by doing’ environment for teachers and students alike!
What are you most looking forward to?
I am most looking forward to assisting the team while further honing the skills I’ve gained over the last few years. Not only is this internship a unique opportunity for career development, it is also a way to learn firsthand about life in Zambia. I love learning new languages and I am looking forward to studying Chewa and Nyanja while I am here. I also can’t wait to explore the natural beauty Zambia has to offer by visiting the impressive Victoria Falls and going on a safari in the South Luangwe National Park. I will be in Lusaka for a few more days but I am eager to go to Eastern Province and begin working. For now, I am enjoying the sights and the weather. It is the rainy season so the days are warm, the nights are cool, and the trees are lush and green. Coming from Florida, it reminds me a lot of home!
I’ll post updates regarding my experiences here so do keep an eye out!