Meet Summer Wheeler!
Hello! My name is Summer, I recently arrived in Kumasi to work with Exponential Education. We have been busy learning Twi, learning about Ghanaian food and customs, and beginning our programs!
I consider both Tokyo, Japan and Boulder, Colorado my hometowns. I grew up in Tokyo until about 7 years old, and then moved back and forth between Japan and the USA every year until I was 11. From then on, I lived in Boulder until I graduated from the University of Colorado in 2012.
I decided to study International Affairs in school because I was interested in Fair Trade, particularly in the Cacao Industry in Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire. During University, I took a history course on West Africa, and this was the beginning of my ever increasing interest in West Africa. The focus of my studies became development. After graduation, I was eager to begin traveling.
My travels began in Sofia, Bulgaria where I took a CELTA course to become certified to teach English. After 6 months in Bulgaria, I moved back to Tokyo, worked for 7 months, went back to Boulder for a while, then traveled and worked on HelpX projects in Europe for 4 months. This is when my friend (Tasia!) wrote to me and told me about this opportunity to work on a project in Ghana!
The model of this project was very exciting to me and I immediately wanted to become involved. We are organizing Ghanaian High School Student to tutor Junior High Students. I believe both tutors and students benefit from this amazing experience. The fact that we are using the SHS students to tutor is so wonderful and so different from other programs that bring in teachers and tutors from foreign countries. It offers a unique mentorship between peers that can provoke inspiration on both ends.
We are working to raise the test scores of Junior High students so they pass a test that decides whether or not they go to Senior High. Without tutoring, many of the students we work with would not have enough academic attention to pass the big exam. Exponential Education’s model has shown the significance of tutoring with great increases in test scores.
I am so thrilled to be working with Exponential Education, and can’t wait to see the progress of the students.