An ex-student returned to Bilborough College talk about her life-changing trip to Honduras teaching underprivileged youngsters in schools and orphanages.
Jessica Riley-Heenan spent a year in Honduras with Project Trust, the oldest educational charity specialising in overseas volunteering placements for school leavers.
As a result of her time in the Central American country, Jessica is now studying a Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) course at Nottingham Trent University as she wants to teach English abroad.
She recently came back to Bilborough College to talk to current students about how the trip had changed her life.
She said: “It really was a life-changing experience for me and completely unforgettable. It also showed me the importance of having a gap year as it really helped me to decide what I wanted to do with my life.
“As well as working with children I was also teaching English to teachers and they would ask me why we did things a certain way in the English language and I didn’t really know.
“That’s what made want to go to university and learn how to teach English, so I can go back and tell them what they wanted to know.”
The 20-year-old taught English and Dance in a variety of schools in Honduras and also organised a show to celebrate everything that the children had learnt.
She had to raise £5,900 before going out to Honduras in August 2015 and complete a rigorous application process but said it was all worth it.
She said: “When it came to the end of my year out there it was a real struggle to leave and I found it quite hard to adjust to life back at home. I go back quite a lot as I met my boyfriend out there and I see him and I visit all of my projects.
“I also visit a family who I used to eat with, they are like my Honduran family and I call the mum my Honduran mum. I’ve been back twice and I’m going back again from June to October.”