SPEAK volunteers are our heroes. Our Ambassadors do an amazing job in helping the project by organising events, supporting volunteer teachers and spreading the SPEAK word. We couldn’t run the project without them!
Jordana is one of our Coimbra Ambassadors who, alongside her Ambassador partner Mariana Vilela, does brilliant work to support the project and make it as enjoyable as possible for the entire community. Here she is sharing her SPEAK story with us about what it’s like to be an ambassador with SPEAK. Thank you for all that you do Jordana!
“My name is Jordana John Birck. I am 20 years old from Brazil, and I am student at the University of Coimbra and a SPEAK Ambassador. I found out about SPEAK when I saw a flyer that was under a desk in one of the classrooms in which I usually have classes. I read it and decided to apply as a teacher, but with no expectations of what an amazing experience I would have at SPEAK while studying in Coimbra. I was called in January 2015 to teach English and in the same year I applied to become an Ambassador. I applied to the Ambassador’s position because I felt I could help spread SPEAK’s project, help people who were new to the Portuguese culture to experience it fully, meet new people and new cultures, share my world and learn about other people’s “worlds” by getting more involved in the community.
Since starting the ambassador role, I have met people – students and teachers – from South America, East and West Europe, Middle East and Asia at SPEAK events and classes. From all of these people I have learned something: a word in their language, a fun fact or a story from their lives or from their country, their experience so far in Portugal and how they were “learning” to get immersed in Portuguese culture. I got to know more about the world we live in by demystifying some “truths” we hear about different cultures and also learning new things about them.
I did not know in the beginning how I could help SPEAK, but event after event, with time and patience, and with the huge help of my amazing Ambassador partner Mariana Vilela, we were able to spread SPEAK’s word in Coimbra. We brainstorm, do marketing and the results of our efforts are continuously showing up. In the last semester we had more and more people joining the project and we got in contact with an amazing team of teachers who helped us in all events and everything we needed. Not only we shared responsibilities with them, but we also had some good and friendly times together at events.
Being part of SPEAK and being an Ambassador has made me more confident in dealing with different people, with different cultures and it has improved my abilities in finding the best solutions in different and challenging situations. It also has made me more curious about the world and more ambitious in changing it and improving it. I helped me to become more open-minded, approachable and sympathetic. I consider SPEAK not only an opportunity to improve my personal skills, meet new people and share my world, but also a place where I could start helping improving our world and making it a better place.“
If you would like to volunteer with SPEAK, you can sign up to be a volunteer teacher with us here! If you would like more information on how to become an ambassador with us, send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you for SHARING YOUR WORLD!