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Sat January 28, 2012
Leaving the Midwest – and the country – to teach
Name: Ryan Brevard
Midwest Home: Kalamazoo, MI
New Home: Mexico City, Mexico
When I graduated college the unemployment rate in Michigan was the highest in the country. I sent out over 150 resumes to all 50 states. Over half were sent to schools in Michigan. This resulted in 5 interviews. Only 2 of those were in person. Only one was in Michigan.
Not being able to find a teaching job, I came across AmeriCorps and was hired to serve with the American Red Cross. After completing two years of service I promised myself I would go on a trip abroad. It was something I had never done before.
I decided that I did not want to spend the little money I had saved from my poverty level income on sipping cocktails on a tropical island. I wanted to have a productive vacation.
So I signed up with an organization that recruits volunteers to teach English to Palestinian refugees. I spent a month living in a refugee camp where electricity was sporadic and fresh, running water nonexistent. It changed my life. It motivated me to continue teaching and traveling abroad.
Currently, I teach second grade English and Health at Instituto Thomas Jefferson in Mexico City. I know I’m not the only individual from the AmeriCorps program in Michigan who has gone on to work internationally instead of in the Midwest or even in the United States. I still would love nothing more than to move back to Michigan, Detroit specifically, to be a part of the rebuilding and revitalization that is taking place as we speak.