To me, BECA has always meant connection and community. When I was a student, my favorite moments at school were when I was able to sit and talk with teachers about how our days were going. It was the personal connections that I made with my teachers that made my years as a student so memorable and wonderful. Specifically, I remember in 2013, Miss Liana sat us down on the floor and began to sing with us, and then she took out some awards from her backpack. There was one for each one of us. She gave me mine and it said, “Hummingbird Award!” I still have it saved.
In high school, one of our teachers made each of us students an album with photos of us and letters from teachers that we had, which I still keep and look through with love. I wish my teachers could see what little Cesar has become: a boy who was always up and down and looking for fun is now a teacher with BECA, with big goals and dreams!
Now, I see BECA differently. BECA now means professionalism, love, opportunity, generosity, and development. It isn’t easy to balance the responsibility of university and work, but I am now studying to become a Computer Engineer, which I always dreamed of being! Even though I’m not studying to be a teacher, I do love it, because I try to make personal connections with my students. The students give so much love, and it is always nice to enter a beautiful classroom and know they’re there to receive you. And, as a teacher with BECA, I am able to support my community.
This year, I learned how to be a better teacher in the Summer Institute Training, and my goal is to continue learning for the rest of the year from my students, just like they’ll learn from me. I want to teach them things that will help them outside of school in their daily lives, not just theory and general knowledge. I hope that, by doing this, they’ll always remember me as a good teacher, like I remember my teachers from BECA!
Matthew McCormack, a long term committed BECA volunteer from Summer Camp Counselor 2018 to Volunteer Teacher 2019-2021 and Program Coordinator 2020-2021 to current Volunteer Recruitment Chair based in Bethesda, Maryland. Since age 15, Matthew has committed himself to nonprofit education. Currently, Matthew works at The Children’s Inn at the National Institutes of Health as the Family Program Coordinator for Education making childhood possible and reducing the burden of illness through educational programming and opportunities. He is excited to share his experiences in Honduras and the beauty of the BECA community with all who are interested to support from afar or in person in one of our classrooms.