Celebration Of Institute Of Life Purpose

In the last year, the Institute of Life Purpose in Mercer had a celebration because it has sent out its 100th volunteer. The volunteers are those who travelled abroad in order to participate in giving service for a year after they graduate. The initiative is termed as Service First.

According to the senior lecturer and director of the Institute of Life Purpose, Dr. Scott Walker, the Service First is referred to as a connector program because they look for good service organizations and then they send the fresh graduates to them.

Overall, Service First has already sent 116 of their fresh graduates into 10 different countries within the seven years they have been in operation. As of the moment, they have volunteers residing in Thailand, two are servicing in Haiti while the other four are assigned in the Dominican Republic.

Teach Thailand Corps is one of the service groups that are under the program and it was founded by American-Thai Foundation in partnership with Yonok Foundation. This was built in order to make the education system in both primary and secondary level stronger especially in high-need areas. The fresh graduates from Mercer including Precious Patterson and Lena Hamvas who are both recipients of the Fullbright Award were sent to Thailand to teach English for a year because they are under the corps.

According to Hamvas, she spent a year as an English teacher in one of the cities of Thailand called Phichit. The place is as big as the city of Macon. She branded the task as an experience that made her more aware of interactions with people of different culture as well as the reality of living overseas. She is now a current teaching assistant at the Fulbright English School in Jordan. She admitted that the new culture she is in required more of her attention and made her realize that she have more compassion than she ever knew.

Patterson, on the other hand, was designated teaching English in Thailand at a rural village called Bamnet Narong. It is a place that places great value in clean energy. Because of their loved of renewable energy, Patterson realized that it is something she wants to learn and pursue more thus she decided to have a Master’s in Renewable Energy, Enterprise and Management. She is currently enrolled at Newcastle University located in England.