This week we are bidding goodbye to our remarkably talented English teacher, Karolyn.  She hails from Chicago, Illinois and has been with LLI for a year as the English Program Manager.cThere’s something about her intensely dedicated spirit and approachable smile that draws attention immediately. Don’t be fooled by her petite frame for she’s one of the most strong willed and driven individual you’ll meet. Our teens have forged a bond with her that there will be many teary eyes upon her departure.

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Growing up in a bilingual family(she speaks Polish) she inherited curiosity for different cultures and exploring different parts of the world from her parents. In high school, her favorite subject was Spanish and that’s what she majored in college. For three years she worked as a Spanish teacher in the city of Chicago.

Four years ago, during a student teaching experience, she met Lara at Andrew High School. After hearing Lara talk about Light and Leadership, she dreamed of joining LLI but had to finish up her last year of college.

“I really wanted to find an opportunity where I could speak Spanish daily and immerse myself with people who share a similar mindset of helping those in need.”

She contacted Lara when her 3rd year of teaching Spanish wasn’t as fulfilling as she would have hoped. Knowing that in Huaycan she could practice her Spanish, get to know the community on a personal level and use her experience as the new English Program Manager, she decided to join LLI in 2014 and here she found her perfect work environment!

“I really enjoy teaching my adolescent class,” she says. “All of the students are very eager to learn and give it their all every class period. After every class, I feel so grateful for what I do in Peru and makes my time here even more rewarding.”

“Participating with LLI has taught me to focus on being a more self-less person. We meet many volunteers throughout our stay here and each individual has so much to offer.”

We wish you all the very best and hope to see you again, Karolyn! It’ll be so hard to say goodbye. We’ve watched you fall in love with the kids, the program, and Huaycan itself—It has truly been amazing to watch and be a part of!

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You’ve been a great example for kids, teens and everyone at the volunteer house, and your friends have much to say:

Katie Ehrlich: Karolyn, I’m so excited for you to be able to keep traveling and doing the job you love! You are such a sweet, reliable, and intelligent person and I know that you have a successful future ahead of you. It will be great to hear about all of your future adventures 🙂 You’re always reading! It’s always so much fun to chat with you about what books you’ve been reading since I’m a big book nerd too 🙂

Shelby O’Brien: Karolyn – please don’t go! You are not only amazing at your job, but you’re an awesome friend and the best roommate a girl could ask for. I’m going to miss you so much and I can’t wait to be reunited in Chicago!!

I’m going to seriously miss your Chicago accent, our obsessive talks about stomach problems, and your ability to tolerate my sleep talking. You’re irreplaceable!

Donya Jahedmanesh: I wish you, Karolyn, all the best and best of luck for your next chapter in your life. I hope it will be as exciting and enjoyable as the time you have spend in Perú. May you be very successful on the new path of your life and may all your dreams come true. With you not being around is not going be the same anymore and everyone is going to miss you and your amazing personality and the strong effort that you have made over last one year. But everything has an ending and may be all the wonderful and beautiful memories and moments are in our heart forever.

I like your patience with the teens, the kids and with the adults when your are teaching them. Your teaching skills are very helpful and very creative. I like the fact that you do everything you can to support your students and everyone around you as well. Even if sometimes something is not going well you always know and have an idea or answer of how to deal with the situation even tough if it can be tough sometimes. Everyone is going to miss you a lot: all of the kids and everyone else you have taught and touched with your kindness.

Kamla Mistry: Karolyn, it has been so lovely getting to know you recently (mostly over cake and coffee)! I know that we shall all miss your friendly smile and positivity around the house, but I’m sure that you have a great future in store! Enjoy Spain 🙂

Karen Lee: Karolyn, our time together was too short. I was happy to know you and have worked with you though. I miss sitting next to you in the LLI office and all the memories we made in the short time that we were together. I know that LLI was lucky to have you and I was lucky to know you!

“Karolyn told me one day that she liked my earrings, and I was so happy to give them to her because now a little piece of me is with her since we are now countries apart. Miss you Karolyn”

 Pooja: Karolyn, during my stay in the volunteer house I constantly admired how hardworking, responsible and focused you are. It wondered me sometimes to see how much tenacity, sense of independence and willpower is stuffed in that petite frame of yours. I truly enjoyed helping you out with the English classes. You are a remarkably gifted teacher and the teens are going to miss you like anything. I wish you good luck and abundant health. Hope to see you soon.

Lara: Karolyn, you will be sorely missed here! We have been so lucky to have your time and talents here for a year and I’m sad to see you go. Thank you, thank you, thank you for all your hard work–you have made such an impact here and have built up such a great program. It has been an upmost pleasure to get to know you as a co-worker, but also as a friend–I will miss you, but know I will see you soon 🙂

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