By Alli Barns 
This year, my husband and I have had the opportunity to travel and work with organizations around the world for his job at Better Lives. During our time in Battambang, I had the chance to work with and learn from some of of the highly-driven staff and teachers from the learning center, and it left me feeling completely inspired and eager to return.

My time at the learning center was spent with three wonderful ladies, Sinath, SeavYoung, and Sreymom. Each of these women is highly dedicated to her role at Children’s Future as was evident through her work ethic and desire to grow. All three of these inspiring women spend their weeks working at Children’s Future, their weekends at University, and their nights studying or completing assignments.

My mornings were spent with Sinath and SeavYoung, two brilliant young women with a drive to be their best. They both communicated to me their desire to develop critical thinking skills and advanced grammar skills that could help them in their current roles at Children’s Future as well as their studies at University. Therefore, we spent time on advanced grammar and essay writing for University. Both Sinath’s and SeavYoung’s ability to think critically, form opinions, make mistakes with grace, and use their opinions in well-written essays in was impressive. As each session came to a close, they expressed what they hoped to improve upon by the next day, and even requested additional tools they could use in their spare time at home. They are role models for their community and beyond.

My afternoons were spent observing Teacher Sreymom in the classroom, and then working with her after class on different teaching methods, which were often introduced earlier in the day at a teacher workshop led by another wonderful volunteer from Denver. What a fun way to spend my afternoons! Teacher Sreymom’s classroom is full of joyful, urgent, and engaged learners. Her creativity is evident as she provided her students with new and exciting opportunities to learn content each day. Teacher Sreymom is eager to push her students to the next level, and therefore quickly implements feedback and tried new methods in an effort to provide her students with the best instruction. I was impressed by Teach Sreymom’s eagerness to improve each day, and can’t wait to see how much she’s grown when I return.

Children’s Future is an authentic, goal-oriented organization making a true difference to its community and staff. It was an honor to be a part of it and see its impact.