Spirit's Volunteer Abroad scholarship recipient, Rita Hess, is preparing for her volunteer project in Ecuador. Hess is a student in the Spanish linguistics and pedagogy master’s program at Illinois State University.
As part of this new service learning experience, Hess will complete a week of advanced Spanish lessons in Quito and then spend two weeks volunteering at a girls orphanage in Cuenca. She will also assist in putting together recreational activities for the children, helping them with their classes, and sharing with them about her life and experiences in the United States.
“Once I got the scholarship, I was able to choose which of their volunteer programs I wanted to do and when,” says Hess. “I chose the girls orphanage because I wanted to do something that wasn’t teaching for once. I’ve always had a soft spot for orphans and adoption so it was just generally interesting to me, and I take it as my personal responsibility in life to help girls realize their potential and break through all barriers so, yeah, a perfect fit!”