Course 1 Community Discussion

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    • #25058
      Katie Holloway

      Who are you, and what would you do if you were not teaching or working in adult basic education? (Give us the big ambitions! No one is going to make you change professions.)

    • #25125
      Deborah Jones

      If I was not in Adult Education, I would be owning my own business.  As a licensed esthetician, I am able to open a spa today.


      • #25624
        Michelle Candy

        If I had unlimited money, I would start an English language school in my city. There is a gap between the “top” of the English program in the local adult learning center (ALC) and the minimum requirement of the community college. There are hundreds of people falling between the cracks, and there is no program to meet this need.

        However, I need to earn money, so I teach adult ed in prison :). And honestly, I love this more than teaching high school English, which was my previous life.

        • #25651
          Melissa J Kreek

          Michelle, you sound like an entrepreneur at heart!  Good luck to you as you continue to do this important work!

          • #25788
            Emiily Lloyd

            Hi Michelle, I worked in a women prison in the Business Office. Working in a prison takes the right type of person. I want to believe that everyone is telling the truth so I decided to go to college and get a different job.

            • #25797
              Michelle Candy

              Emily, you’re right. I’ve had to learn not to trust everything, or to trust to a certain extent. There are some guys who will lie about everything, and some who will never tell you a lie but will steal your whiteboard markers, etc. I haven’t gotten totally burned, but have definitely learned to be careful about trusting too much, too soon!

              Are you currently in college? What did you decide to change to?

        • #25687
          Michelle Marland

          Hi Michelle,

          This sounds like a fun and worthwhile endeavor. I have always wanted to do ESL with refugees.



          Michelle M.

          • #25725
            Michelle Candy

            Velida, how interesting! I mean, I wouldn’t wish war on anyone, but what a shift from engineering to teaching!

          • #25726
            Michelle Candy

            Melissa, Probably the reason I HAVEN’T done this is I’m not really an entrepreneur at all. I just love working with international English Learners and hate to see them fall between the cracks. I’d be just as happy working at this place as starting it up. 🙂

          • #25798
            Michelle Candy

            I love ESL so much! I kind of got into it by accident, and then realized I had reached the end of what I could figure out with my BA English–so I did an MA TESOL. I really miss my international students.

      • #25657

        Hello Deborah! Keep us posted if you do open a spa – definitely interested in being your first customer:)

        • #25709

          I could not agree more!  I am signing up too. Dominique

      • #25733
        LaShonda Evans

        Hi Deborah,

        Owning my own business is something that I would like to do as well.  I would like to open my own bakery.

        • #27636
          Nadege Gbaguidi

          Sounds like a great plan: I love baking 🙂

      • #25816
        Jack Kaburu

        My Name is Jack Kaburu, working with Catholic Relief Services as an ICT4D Specialist and technology training is part of what i do. If i was to change carees i would get into sales !!

      • #25916
        Ariel Espinoza

        If I were not a teacher, I would have my own company that works to retrieve the good functionality of the soil.

        • #27865

          I have always think that maybe the private extention services could be a very profitable idea, nice idea. Greetings.

      • #26243
        Ruth Junkin

        Hi. I am Ruth and I actually already work in International Development, which includes, but isn’t limited to, adult basic education. I’m looking forward to better incorporating successful adult education approaches into our work.

        • #26244
          Ruth Junkin

          Ariel, that sounds great – keeping focused on healthy soils!

      • #27649

        I would be a park ranger or an oceanographer

        • #27866

          Nice idea Sarah, to be in touch with nature. I would like too.

    • #25631


      if I was not an adult education, I will be manage my own business as promoting Malagasy craft

      • #25652
        Melissa J Kreek

        Hi Noro, This sounds like so much fun.  I’m curious now about Malagasy crafts – I’m going to the internet to learn more ;).



      • #25664
        Anne Sellers

        Hi Noro, Are you already creating crafts in Madagascar? If so, can you share a photo with us?? Or do you mean you would want to work with artisans, and cover the business aspects? I know that there are so many fantastic artisans there, what an interesting ‘if’ response!

      • #25793
        Andres Bucaro

        A bakery, sounds great, I like it…

    • #25649
      Melissa J Kreek

      Hi there!  I’m Melissa Kreek, happy to be participating in the course with you all :)!  Adult education and support is part of my job. I also get to work with teams that are helping in big and small ways to make the world a better place.  If I wasn’t doing this I would be working directly with small community based organizations to help them raise money so they could do more of what they are passionate about.

      • #25658

        Hello Melissa! Nice to be connected here as well. You are helping small businesses though indirectly – so almost there, living your dream, right? 🙂

        • #25724
          Rachelle Watson

          Hi Melissa, I’m Rachelle, and I think your “other occupation” is truly lovely.  I appreciate such community-oriented people!

      • #25800
        Michelle Candy

        Hi Melissa,

        If I were ever going to start my community-based ESL language school, I would need someone like you to help locate resources. That’s where I freeze up and freak out!

      • #25821
        Jack Kaburu

        Hi Melisa, I think CBO’s are the way to go. If well supported their impact on the community is immense. I have witnessed CBO’s transform communities in Kenya.


    • #25656

      Hello everyone! I am Velida and I work in Catholic Relief Services. I studied to be electrical engineer back in my youth, so I guess if war had not happened in Bosnia and I had not started working with CRS, I would have become electrical engineer. My first boss in CRS told me: “why do you want to work with machines instead of people?” 🙂 So I feel very lucky for this almost accidental change in carrier that brought me a joy of adult education work!

      • #25665
        Anne Sellers

        Hi Velida, What a great post! It’s so interesting how our life pathways can pivot on what almost seems like a whim (not the war, but you getting a job with CRS and then discovering your career working with people!) – all of us at CRS are also lucky that you changed your career! 🙂

        • #25689
          Michelle Marland

          Great to see you literally brought in the ‘joy’ to a post. Keep up the great work.

          • #25763

            Huuuge shift, which I am very happy about 🙂

          • #25764

            Hi Anne, you are absolutely right! It certainly looked like a temporary whim which now ended up being a life-long choice. So nice to re-connect here!

        • #26004
          Esther Kauffman

          How interesting! I never knew that about you Velida!

      • #25683
        Brenda Punti

        Hi Velida, love your post! I´m sure many appreciate what you do as an educator and hope you continue on this path.

      • #26037
        Dinorah Lorenzana

        That was a great change in careers, and I think there’s people that comes to your life to help you choose the correct path or at least a better one. Something similar happened to me, when I chose my career.

    • #25663
      Anne Sellers

      Hi! My name is Anne Sellers, I work at CRS as an Education Technical Advisor. Katie, your question is a ‘big IF’!

      One of my ‘COVID survival strategies’ actually has been to take a daily walk with my kids, and we often try to come up with ‘would you rather’ / ‘top 3’ type questions – the question you asked was one we talked about just last week! If money (and innate skill) were no object, I think I would like to be an artist – or a writer.

      • #25684
        Brenda Punti

        Hi Anne, love the activities you have with your kids.  Excellent suvival strategy, will give it a try.

        • #26109

          Hi Anne; this is great i appreciate your engagement and connection with your children. being an artist is my second choice.

        • #26245
          Ruth Junkin

          Hi Anne. Agreed, would love to pursue artistic endeavors.

        • #27650

          Anne, I love those discussions, what types of careers are your kids interested in?

      • #25710

        Hi Anne,  Nice reconnecting with you and thinking of you walking with your kids.  They must be big by now!  I love the idea of a “what if” game.  We sure need it these days.

      • #25748
        Fernanda Orellana

        Hi Anne! I posted something similar! I would love to be a writer, I just journal my thoughts and ideas but  have never really tried some creative writing, maybe I should start there. Who is your favorite writer?

      • #25825

        Thanks so much Brenda!

      • #26038
        Dinorah Lorenzana

        You can be an artists, maybe not full time, but you can post on social media what you do as an artist. I’m  sure you could reach many people, and you never know what can come out of it.

    • #25681
      Brenda Punti

      Hello all! I´m Brenda Punti work at CRS as a Leverage and Operations Specialist which is a job I enjoy very, very much; however and if money were no object, I´d be the owner of a small hotel in Isla de Flores in Guatemala.

      • #25711

        Nice to meet you virtually, Brenda.  I will google search for Isla de Flores right away.  I visited Guatemala 30+ years ago and was fascinated, I’d love to visit again one day!

        • #25791
          Andres Bucaro

          Hi, I´m Andres from Guatemala, if I was not working related to adult educaction I would like to be a chef.

        • #25792
          Andres Bucaro

          Nice place Brenda!

          • #25917
            Ariel Espinoza

            Hey Andres! remember to add healhty food to your menu.

        • #26246
          Ruth Junkin

          I love Isla de Flores! Beautiful.

    • #25685
      Michelle Marland

      If I wasn’t doing adult education, I would probably be a travel book writer/reviewer so that I can travel the world, explore interesting and exotic places, eating amazing food and interact with people of various cultures.

      • #25686
        Michelle Marland

        Hi All, Apologies for forgetting to introduce myself. My name is Michelle Marland and I am the Youth Technical Advisor at CRS working in Baltimore, MD. At least now that I have responded to a post, I just need to do one more ;-). Love all the responses, they are fun to read.

        • #27637
          Nadege Gbaguidi

          What a cool idea, Michelle! So many lovely places to visit/discover in Africa. You are more than welcome anytime!

      • #25749
        Fernanda Orellana

        Oh I´d love to do that too!!! What type of food is your favorite? Would you like to try some exotic dishes like, say….chocolate covered grasshoppers?

      • #26007
        Esther Kauffman

        Yes! That definitely sounds like a dream job!

      • #26107

        Hi Espinoza; this really sounds good. wish you success.

    • #25712

      Good morning everyone, I am Dominique and I work at CRS based out of Cairo. Adult education is part of my regional job, but a part I enjoy tremendously (more fun than writing or reviewing proposals for sure!).  I had always wanted to work in humanitarian & development field, so I can’t think of anything better!  Though I think I would love leading tours in a nature reserve or national park — I miss the hiking & being outdoors…

      • #25727
        Rachelle Watson

        Hi Dominique:

        I live in a beautiful area in Oregon that lends itself to hiking and nature, but it’s never been my primary interest.  I honestly wish I naturally (get it) loved it, though, because I see how much joy hiking gives to so many.  Hopefully you can get back into hiking soon!

      • #25732
        LaShonda Evans

        Hi Dominique,


        Leading tours in a nature reserve sounds simply amazing and like something I would enjoy doing as well.

    • #25723
      Rachelle Watson

      Hi all!  My name is Rachelle Watson and I work at a high school.  I was an English teacher for 12 years and now I am the 9th Grade Success Coordinator, so I work to help 9th graders and their families transition to high school.  If I wasn’t in education, I think I would enjoy being an office manager.  I love organizing and crossing things off of my to-do list.

      • #25799
        Michelle Candy

        Hi Rachelle,

        My last job before teaching in prison was teaching ninth grade. I wasn’t sure I’d like it, and I did struggle with some aspects of “squirrel,” but I did ultimately enjoy it. It was kind of a fun age–not quite as bad as 7th-8th (shudder–I  did one year of 8th and said NEVER AGAIN!), but not as fun as 12th grade or college.

    • #25731
      LaShonda Evans

      Hello, my name is LaShonda Evans and I am a Counselor Education Specialist.  I train school counselors in 43 school districts.  If I were not in education, I would own my own bakery!!!!

    • #25747
      Fernanda Orellana

      Hello everyone! My name is Fernanda, so nice to be in this virtual space with you all. I work for CRS, as part of the HRD on the EMPOWER Project, so I´m a lot into capacity building for our partners and it´s been an amazing journey. I also teach English as a part time job so If I weren´t teaching or working in adult basic education I´d be writing some amazing novels, doing yoga in Panajachel or being a professional dancer.

      • #25789
        Emily Lloyd

        Hi La Shonda, it is great that you like to bake so well that you would like to have a bakery! When I was younger I loved to bake, but the older I get the less I enjoy baking or cooking. At the moment we are re-modeling out house and I do not have a kitchen sink, stove top, or an oven. We eat out at the moment, but we are hoping to finish soon. Merry Christmas!

      • #25827

        oh, bakery sounds like a wonderful choice! Maybe it could be a retirement option? One of my colleagues had retirement party yesterday so now I am obsessed with thinking about it 🙂

      • #25918
        Ariel Espinoza

        <span style=”vertical-align: inherit;”><span style=”vertical-align: inherit;”>Hello Lashonda, it´s a good idea, just remember to make sure about the demand your town has!</span></span>

    • #25787
      Emiily Lloyd

      Hi everyone, my name is Emily and I am a one room school house GED Instructor. I am located off campus, I am the secretary, janitor, and Instructor. I weren’t teaching GED I would be teaching Psychology because I have a Master’s in Psychology. The other thing is I would be teaching online from home.

      • #25860
        Amanda McCullough

        Hey Emily!  I actually studied Psychology in undergrad and loved it.  Decided to not pursue a Master’s because I wasn’t sure quite what I wanted to do, but I still find so much of what I learned applicable in any job in relating to and working with others.

    • #25846
      Shelmith Mariara

      Hi everyone!

      I’m Shelmith working for Catholic Relief Services in Kenya, really excited to be learning from yáll. Given a chance I would want to run a beauty salon.

      • #25861
        Amanda McCullough

        Come to Baltimore!  I haven’t had a haircut since the pandemic started 🙂

    • #25859
      Amanda McCullough

      Honestly if I could start my education over again, I’d go into something with medicine.  I always thought I hated science growing up and didn’t realize how much I loved it until graduate school!

    • #25984
      Myrlande Octave feuille


      Hi everyone ,
      basically i ‘ m a project manager ,but now i m in the process of becoming an SEL educator.

    • #26006
      Esther Kauffman

      I’m Esther and I work in Business Development at CRS. One of my favorite jobs was working as a summer counselor for kids who were recently adopted after being in foster care. That’s the first thing that came to mind but to be honest, I’m not sure if I’d be able to handle it as a full-time job 🙂

    • #26036
      Dinorah Lorenzana

      I would be travelling and writing reviews of hotels and restaurants from all around the world! and Yes, this would be my job!

    • #26105

      Hello! i am Tizita. I would be a business owner. i am good at cooking traditional foods. so i would be having restaurant.

    • #27635
      Nadege Gbaguidi

      Hello! I am Nadege. Working with CRS in West Africa. I would have been an event planner and designer 🙂

    • #27864

      Hi, my name is Andres, I´m from Guatemala, I use to thik that I would like to be an airplane pilot and work for a worldwide airline.

    • #27950
      RAMANANJOHANY Veroniaina

      I’m Vero and if  I’m not a gender and youth advisor from CRS, I will be flosrist and landscape designer.

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