Strengthening Education Abroad

Kelly Johnson ’17 was selected as one of 31 winners of the prestigious Princeton in Latin America Fellowship.

The Ursinus graduate is currently in the Dominican Republic, where she’ll get to apply her background in Spanish and peace and social justice.

The fellows make significant contributions to socially responsible development work with 16 partners based throughout the Americas addressing issues such as accessibility/inclusion, community health, conservation, education, and girls’ and women’s economic empowerment.

Johnson started her fellowship as an English teacher at Liceo Científico Dr. Miguel Canela Lazaro—a school for students in grades 6-12 in the Hermanas Mirabal province. The school has a STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math)-based curriculum.

“After a study revealing deficiencies in education in Hermanas Mirabal in 2012, Liceo was created with a STEAM-based curriculum with a goal of teaching its students to contribute to their society and develop critical thinking skills,” Johnson says.

In addition to teaching English classes, Johnson also facilitates workshops on domestic violence, a topic that draws from her previous knowledge and experiences that she gained during her year-long fellowship with Border Servant Corps last year in Las Cruces, New Mexico.

She hopes to become even more involved in the greater community by providing additional English lessons at a local correctional facility.

As a student at Ursinus, Johnson studied abroad in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and was an active member of the Bonner leader program. All of the skills and experiences she learned during her time at Ursinus transitioned nicely into her current work, she says.

Over the last 15 years, the Princeton in Latin America program has placed 360 fellows with partner organizations in 20 different nations. Emphasis is placed on firsthand experience and mobilizing young participants to effect positive social change in their surroundings. —By Mary Lobo ’15