A Farewell and Thank You to GLN
It has been a privilege and an honor to have served the Global Language Network over the past 14 months (in the midst of a global pandemic, no less!), first in the volunteer position of Leadership Fellow and then in the position of Program Coordinator. I am so grateful for the opportunity to contribute to GLN’s extraordinary mission which is so near and dear to my heart and, most importantly, is crucial to the survival of our nation and the world.
From the moment I read GLN’s mission statement “to use language as a tool to help fix our world” and that GLN was a “network of givers”, I knew I wanted to be a part of the Global Language Network community. I wholeheartedly believe that one of the most effective and crucial ways to foster empathy and understanding across cultures is to bridge the communication gap through learning new languages. However, what clinched my commitment to work for GLN was speaking with the founding Executive Director, Andrew Brown. Andrew’s deep passion and commitment to GLN’s mission, his ability to speak joyously in a wide range of languages, and his enthusiasm that he brings to every training of GLN’s volunteers and teachers deeply inspired me – and I’m sure so many others over the years – to join GLN’s network of givers, for givers, by givers. Andrew and his worldwide network of volunteers and students have created a close-knit community of caring and committed people from all different backgrounds. Members of this community all share a passion for learning and teaching languages and cultures from across the globe in order to contribute to narrowing communication gaps between nations, within linguistically diverse communities and workplaces, and in cross-cultural families and friendships.
My time at GLN has afforded me the privilege to work with volunteer teachers from across the globe who learned about our mission and got so excited about the opportunity to share their language and culture in order to make a difference in the lives of their students. It has been so motivating to work with and support the many volunteer teachers who enthusiastically dedicate their personal time to sharing their own native language and culture with their students. Our teachers’ tireless dedication, support, and enthusiasm has inspired me every day at GLN and will continue to do so.
It also has been an absolute pleasure and honor to support and work alongside the dozens of leadership fellows, interns, and other volunteers who, through their efforts, ensure that our teachers and students have the best GLN experience possible. I am grateful to have worked with four wonderful semesters of GLN Leadership Fellow teams. These volunteers are the ones who help make GLN all that it is and allow Global Language Network to touch so many lives.
Almost every single person I have met at or through GLN has strengthened my faith in humanity and what we can accomplish with a common goal. Even the students I have spoken with or who wrote in with their appreciation and/or feedback, showed me how much understanding and caring there is in our very diverse world and served as daily reminders of the importance of GLN’s work.
The work of the program coordinator is wide-ranging, including assigning and managing the work of our leadership fellows and interns, coordinating the development of each semester’s class schedule, overseeing the registration of hundreds of students, facilitating the start-up of 50+ classes and teachers a semester, and answering calls and emails of hundreds of students eager and excited to learn new language skills. Because of the wide range of responsibilities that come with the Program Coordinator position, I was able to work with so many members of the GLN community and gain new experiences I would have been unable to achieve so early in my career elsewhere.
It enabled me to develop a broad range of management, leadership, organizational, and communication skills that I will utilize and build upon throughout a career in the nonprofit sector to which I have long aspired. And with the help of such a wonderful community of passionate and enthusiastic volunteers, I had the most incredible professional experience working on a cause that I’m so passionate about: helping make our world better for everyone.
I want to thank everyone who has helped make my experience at GLN a truly memorable one. You have taught me that every kind word, helping hand, and thoughtful communication can make all the difference in a person’s day.