Teacher-Trainer Volunteer with the Peace Corps
“Try new things, talk to people you would not have talked to in high school and just put yourself out there in a way you weren’t before. It is worth it.”
Stephanie Jackson ’12, from her small town roots in Tully, New York, has nurtured a blossoming global career in education. As a teacher-trainer volunteer with the Peace Corps in the Kyrgyz Republic, Russia, located on the northwestern border of China, she is teaching English and educating young women on gender equality.
Years before her journey to the Kyrgyz Republic, Stephanie always knew she wanted to be a teacher and toured several colleges as part of her search for the right place to pursue that aspiration. Once she saw Elmira College from her family vehicle, she immediately knew the purple-and-gold campus was the place for her.
Stephanie majored in education and social studies, and participated in a variety of teams and clubs, such as the JV volleyball team, Student Activities Board, Student Athletic-Advisory Board, and Student Alumni Council. She was also a resident advisor at EC.
Throughout her studies, her advisor Dr. Charlie Mitchell and professor Robin O’Brian had a significant influence on her success in and out of the classroom, supporting her and introducing her to sociology, anthropology, and critical thinking.
After finishing her bachelor’s degree, Stephanie continued her education at Elmira College in the master of education program. As a graduate assistant in the Office of Information Technology, she worked as the coordinator of multimedia services. After completing her graduate work, Stephanie worked for Chase Bank before embarking on her position with the Peace Corps.
Today, as a teacher-trainer volunteer Stephanie teaches English and works with young women on gender equality. In the summer, Stephanie runs a camp called GLOW (Girls Leading Our World), which focuses on educating girls on women’s health, empowerment, self-confidence, public speaking, volunteerism, bride kidnapping, and human trafficking. Stephanie also gives free trainings to teachers in the area, focusing on methodologies, lesson planning, activities, and technology.
Stephanie’s experience working with the Peace Corps constantly inspires her and encourages her to be open to new experiences that make her more creative and driven. As the field of education is constantly changing and evolving, this experience also pushes Stephanie to keep learning.
In the next few months, once Stephanie’s Peace Corps service ends, she plans to spend some time back home in Tully. Then, she returns to the Kyrgyz Republic to begin a new position as a teacher at ESCA - Bishkek International School, a European international school in the capital city of Bishkek.