Image courtesy of Presley Perswain

When I joined BC TEAL back in 2012, I had just completed my MA TESOL and I was looking to connect with my local English language teachers association. What I didn’t know was that I was gaining a family. That sounds really trite and maybe a bit idealistic, but the longer I have been a part of this association, the more that has become true.

In a short period of time, I made a number of friends with my teaching colleagues and I grew as a teaching professional through my interactions with each one of them. That was all nice and good, but I was not in it to join a club. What I wanted was to see lives changed if that could even be possible through something like this.

Over time, I learned about the TEAL Charitable Foundation (TCF), a separate arm of BC TEAL that worked on providing financial support to both teachers and students. What I wasn’t expecting was the impact this foundation would have on me and so many others, even if I didn’t receive one cent from them. This really came to light during the AGM at the annual conference in 2014. During the meeting, some of the recipients of the financial awards gave their stories of how the TCF had helped them that year. Towards the end of the meeting, a young man from Vietnam who had lost his left hand at the age of six when he picked up a land mine while searching for food for his family spoke about how the TCF was helping him to make his dream of furthering his education become a reality. His story along with so many others have inspired so many of us to do more to help those in need.

Next weekend, I am joining with my friends from BC TEAL in something called the Climb for the Cause. We will be climbing Grouse Mountain in hopes of raising money for the Taiga Galli Memorial Refugee Award, the same award this young man received in 2014. Here is what the award is for:

“This $2500 award will be offered annually to a refugee wishing to pursue vocational or academic studies at an educational institution in BC.”

I am wanting to raise at least $200 towards this award and I am looking for help from my extended teaching family. Around the same time that I joined BC TEAL, I become actively involved in Twitter as a teaching professional and have gained so much from my interactions online. I am now asking for your help in making my goal a reality, but I will also be doing my part. Not only will I complete the climb next Sunday, but I will match any donation amount that is given in my name (within a limit, of course. If someone gave $100,000, I would be ecstatic, but I couldn’t possibly match that). Any amount would be welcomed, and nothing is too small.

Donate here:

Thank you in advance. Oh, and to help you join in, I will be tweeting my climb using #NGHclimb.

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