WHO SHE IS
Angela Williams, Regional Coordinator for EF High School Exchange Year
WHERE SHE IS
Finding a host family on Facebook within the first few weeks of working with EF. After telling me they weren’t ready to host, I asked questions and kept notes on why and reached out to them a few times… and they hosted the following year!
I make my own hours. I probably work an average of 8-10 hours a week. (Sometimes more, sometimes less)
Bentley (2), Christian (1)
RECENT SMART READ
The Energy Bus: 10 Rules to Fuel Your Life, Work, and Team with Positive Energy by Jon Gordon
FAVORITE WEEKNIGHT DINNER
Bubble Up Enchilada Casserole
Facebook is a key tool in marketing for host families for my job. But I am also a Pinterest junkie for fun!
BEST TIME-MANAGEMENT TIP
Getting my kids on the same nap schedule so that I have time to myself every day to work or just have “me time.”
WHAT DO YOU LOVE TO DO WITH YOUR CHILDREN WHEN YOU AREN’T WORKING?
We love going on walks, going to the park, library and swimming. I try to get out of the house to do something with my boys at least once a day, even if it’s just walking through Target!
HOW DOES BEING A MOM MAKE YOU GREAT AT WHAT YOU DO?
I think I have become better with time management for my job since becoming a mom. It has forced me to be more diligent with the limited time I have to focus on my role in between diaper changes, swim lessons, bath time, feedings, etc.
1. You’re a Regional Coordinator for Education First (EF), an organization that places international exchange students with families for a year. What are the best parts about what you do?
I have been with EF for four years. Working as a coordinator and hosting a Norwegian student have been some of the most rewarding experiences of my life. Not only do I get a little extra money and travel benefits, but I also get to work with teenagers every day. I was a teacher for six years and my passion is working with kids. This is the perfect way for me to continue that passion and still be home with my boys. I love helping families bring the world into their home!
2. You were a teacher when you first started working as a local coordinator with EF and did this on the side for a few years before going full time. How was that and do you think there’s a particular background or skill that makes one well suited for this kind of work? What is the time commitment like?
For the first three years that I worked with EF, I was teaching full time. This is a great side job for a teacher because it only requires a few hours a week at the most.
Basically, you decide how much or how little you want to put into this role. You can decide to have a goal of placing one student, or 10, or whatever works for you. The time that you are the busiest is during the summer when we are trying to get all of our students placed before the new school year. This schedule was perfect for me as a teacher since I had the summer off.
I have placed over 100 students with American host families in the last four years and we are getting ready to host our second student this fall, a girl from Denmark! We didn’t have kids when we hosted the first time, so we are very excited to host again now that we have two boys.
3. Opening your home for a year might feel daunting for some families. How do you approach new families and work with them to do this?
Patience and persistence are the two words that come to mind. Recruiting host families is probably the most challenging responsibility in my role, however it is also the most rewarding. It is rewarding because it gets me connected with my community. I was new to my community when I started the program and so it was a really neat way to get involved and meet people. Some of my closest friends now are families I recruited to host!
4. It sounds like you have been able to travel quite a bit as a result of your work?
Yes, working for EF has changed my life in so many ways. It has given me extra income, which helped us adopt our son after struggling with infertility. Then after having our “surprise miracle baby” just a year after our first son was born, EF has now helped me to be able to stay home with my boys.
My family has also grown by working with EF, which is one big family in itself. On top of that all of my students across the world that I have hosted and supervised are like extended family to me now!
Another way that EF has changed my life is by allowing me opportunities to travel the world. Twice a year I get to travel in country for our IEC National Meeting and our Regional Coordinator National Meeting. Also, at least once a year, international incentive trips are offered for placing anywhere from 8-10 students (varies every year). I have traveled to New Orleans, San Diego, Florida, Boston, Rome, Germany, Aruba and Amsterdam all with EF. Later this year I will be going to Nashville, Denver and Spain!
5. What have you learned about yourself in this role?
Working for EF has brought out my desire to share American culture. I am sure it was always there but now I actually can act on it! I have always been interested in other cultures, I even studied abroad in Australia in college. However, now that I know so many people all over the world I have an even stronger desire to learn more. I have always loved working with kids and this job has solidified that passion in me even more. I love that by working and hosting with EF, I am not only giving others an inside view of America, but I am also helping my community, my family, my children and myself become more globally aware.
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