Guest Blogger: AgriCorps Fellow, Lyndee Lum; Agriculture teacher and FFA advisor in Colorado
Towards the end of my senior year as an undergrad, I remember feeling lucky that I had an answer to the, often dreaded, question, “What are your plans after graduation?” I was able to confidently respond with my intent to join AgriCorps and work in Ghana, Africa for 11 months. Granted, this was only one year of my life that I had planned ahead of me, but it was something. At that point, I wasn’t entirely sure what my role would be in the world. My farm background and love for plants and soil led me to believe that I would somehow be connected to the ag industry…but, how?
Six months later, I knew. In a doorless, dusty classroom, with a broken chalkboard and more students than desks, I found my passion: teaching. The students I taught were, hands-down, the most important part of my year in Ghana. I found inspiration in the small “Aha!” moments, and I knew that this was something I had to pursue when I returned home.
Today, I teach high school agriculture science in northern Colorado. The impact my time in Ghana has on my teaching is incredible. Thanks to my time in AgriCorps, my work day is filled with:
The world is in need of people in the agriculture industry who create and refine new and improved methods of producing, storing, processing and distributing food to all people. Time spent in a country like Ghana has made that clear to me. I have found purpose in educating and inspiring young people to choose work that will contribute, in some way, to fulfilling that need.
2. Global Perspective
Living abroad allows you to see the world through a different set of eyes, and I strive to share that vision with my students. My constant goal is to get them thinking outside of the box (Colorado is, literally, shaped like a box.) The first-hand experiences I am able to share with my students is an invaluable tool for achieving this goal.
It would have been impossible for me to complete my time in AgriCorps without developing a huge sense of gratitude for the life I have been given. My daily interactions with colleagues, students, family and strangers are not what they used to be. I appreciate the small things, refuse to stress over the things I cannot change and value the lives around me a little bit more.
Towards the end of my year as an AgriCorps fellow, I remember feeling lucky that I had an answer to the welcomed question, “What are your plans after Ghana?” My response was confident:
I am going to be a teacher.