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April 28, 2011

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April 28, 2011

Before volunteering with ETA4, I never fully understood the magnitude of joy rewarded in helping others. Now, however, I can't imagine something more amazing than just that. I traveled to Taiwan, a country of a different language and culture, last summer with ETA4. In the time I spent there I fell in love with a hundred children, a whole country, a entirely new culture, and most importantly, the act of teaching others. ETA4 embraces teaching English as a means to not only help others to achieving their own goals but as a means to understanding another culture and making new relationships. The work ETA4 does then is so much more than English lessons. ETA4 opens students and volunteers to an entirely new way of viewing the world, themselves, and their own capabilities.

One of my students Annie, a shy student hesitant to speak English in class, helped me realize this about ETA4. During a class break, looking over class journals, Annie began asking me questions about where I live, what I like to do, and what "America" was like. The next day, in her journal Annie wrote about our conversation. It was reading her entry that made me understand why I had come to Taiwan. She explained how she never talked in class because her English was "bad" but that talking to me made her really happy, that she wanted to try to speak in English more, and that, perhaps, she could even come to America sometime to visit me and speak more English. It seems so simple and maybe not even anything special to the average person reading this, but to me this is the essence which makes me come to tears when I think of 'my kids' in Taiwan. To volunteer with ETA4 is to make relationships like these. Ones that encourage students who believe they have so little realize they can dream and be anything they set their minds to. They can speak English, they realize. They can travel to another country, they realize. They can, they realize, do so much more than they ever imagined.

A similar realization dawned on me too during this moment. I began to realize that I can, along with every other individual, offer so much to others. That I can truly make a impact on the lives of others. I think sometimes that many people feel they don't have the means, the aptitude, or the special skills to truly make a difference in the world. But thats so untrue. I believe ETA4, which emphasizes passion to help others more than anything, embraces this. As an organization it provides an overall greater understanding for both its volunteers and students about their extraordinary capabilities.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

My everyday life. I now have a greater appreciation for my surroundings and own personal abilities. Each time I think of my students in Taiwan, I am not only brought to tears by memories of them but I am motivated to do my best because I know that's what they are doing themselves. I have become more aware of the precious opportunities I have been given in my life and I appreciate them more fully than ever. Most importantly, I believe in helping others as the most precious gift to oneself and the others.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

ETA4 is still a very young organization and as a result, has some structural issues to still be smoothed over. Improvements can be made by improving communications with volunteers, delegating tasks among members, and solidifying certain details of the various projects. Overall, these improvements will help ETA4 grow as an organization as it already has the passion and soul necessary for success.

More feedback...

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization beyond what is required of board members?

Likely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you tell others about this organization?

Definitely

How did you learn about this organization?

A friend from my college-dorm who was attending an ETA4 program.

What is this organization's top short-term priority?

Improve the overall organization of the projects, member development, and delegation of tasks.

What is its top priority in the long run?

Help students in other countries learn English, reach a higher level of cultural understanding, and form relationships that will last forever.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

April 27, 2011

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April 27, 2011

I have been watching and walking through the grow of ETA4 over the past 3 years. That marked an enormous effort of all ETA4 team members. And more enormously, our effort greatly benefited the future of all local children/students. As a humble helper while ETA4 in VN , I would like to call all individuals/ organizations support us - under any means to bring a brighter future of the children, especially the underprivileged one where ET4 comes to.

It's not easy to find a non-profit ozg being professionally operated by the young girls and guys who are just under and over 20. ETA4 work dedicatedly on donator's behalf to transfer their kindness to the right children at the right place.

And I myself also grew a lot thanks to ETA4's presence in Vietnam.
Feel free to contact me at lvlong2@gmail.com to hear more about the great grow in terms of the academic aspect as well as memorable time with ETA4.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

In Vietnam

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Expand the program to more localities

April 27, 2011

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April 27, 2011

I first heard about ETA4 in 2008 when the founders were still in the process of getting their non-profit status approved. They shared that they wanted to implement a more innovative way of teaching English to kids who pretty much had enough of English during the school year. How were they going to successfully teach it over the summer while making an impact? When they had gone to Vietnam, they had seen the textbooks and the homework but no passion within the students. To tackle this obstacle and show that there was much more to learning, English Through Academics, Athletics, and the Arts was created. While ETA4 may seem like an organization similar to any other teaching program, it defines itself through awareness of the universal affinity for arts and athletics and incorporates those interests into its everyday curriculum.

Back then, the website was nothing but a simple blue and white with segments of text here and there ... mostly "Under Construction". Today, just a little over 2 years, eta4.org has evolved into a website colored with photos from trip after trip, media, sponsorships, and detailed proposals of its mission and day to day contributions. The website is a tremendous example and personification of the growth ETA4 has witnessed during these last few years. Over 30 volunteers have taught abroad and thousands of dollars raised by the effort of the community have brought smiles and an English education to over 1500 children across 4 cities in 2 countries. This summer, ETA4 still continues to uphold its new but standing tradition of spreading goodwill to thousands more in the rural areas of East Asia.

Photos

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I had been involved with ETA4 since its inception in 2008 but did not get a chance to volunteer abroad myself until summer of 2010 in Taitung, Taiwan. Finally getting the chance to teach abroad was nothing remotely close to living vicariously through the pictures and stories previous volunteers had brought back with them. Seeing tears in the nearly 200 faces during our program's closing ceremony was an inexplicable feeling that no amount of donations or local community work could compensate.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Develop the organization further by creating solid foundations in areas outside of Southern California. ETA4 has received applications from all over the United States (and outside the country as well!) but only has a single base in San Diego. Expanding to multiple cities would allow ETA4 to connect more with its volunteers as well as open up new opportunities to run local community projects in various areas.

More feedback...

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization beyond what is required of board members?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you tell others about this organization?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

April 26, 2011

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April 26, 2011

I was recruited to join ETA4's program in 2008, when the organization had not even kicked off with any events yet. However, what I did see, were two young individuals about my age, excited to contribute to a progressive change for underprivileged students around the world. Immediately, I felt connected to the founders, Victor Wilson and Christopher Ta, in wanting to make a difference in the world. I was inspired by the idea of creating a fun environment for students to learn English, as it is an important skill to have in developing countries like Vietnam. Throughout 2008, we continued to fundraise through car washes and asking for donations by those who supported our cause. By the Summer of 2008, we were able to have our inaugural program in Hue, Vietnam--- which resulted in over 300 students who attended our program. With 9 volunteers in Vietnam, we were able to repaint playgrounds for children at orphanages, replant gardens for local orphanages, as well as supplying boat village children with school supplies to encourage them to attend school the following Fall. We came back from the program in 2009, more enthusiastic than ever to make ETA4 "blow up"! Coming back with a success story, we were able to recruit additional members onto our Executive Board and Staff, and from there-- have gained so much experience in fundraising, recruiting the right volunteers, as well as effectively expanding our program to three different cities by the Summer of 2010. Now, at our third year in progress, I personally feel our organization has grown tremendously in terms of running our non-profit. We have learned a great deal on how to mobilize our volunteers so that they feel ownership in our organization. Our staff, which started with 3-4 individuals, have grown into a staff of over 10 individuals who are all passionate and dedicated to the cause of ETA4.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I've personally grown a great deal in the professional setting. My experiences in directing ETA4's programs have allowed me to come to a realization what my passions are on an international level, and have resulted in my deciding to apply for graduate school for International Relations for Fall 2012. It is exciting to be a part of a group of enthusiastic individuals, ready to make a difference in the lives of children who otherwise wouldn't have the opportunity.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

learn how to grant write so that we can spend more time focusing on the contents of our program instead of worrying about fundraising all the time!

More feedback...

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization beyond what is required of board members?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you tell others about this organization?

Definitely

How did you learn about this organization?

Friends

What is this organization's top short-term priority?

To provide English instruction to underprivileged students abroad who wouldn't otherwise have the opportunity-- through Academics, Athletics, and the Arts.

What is its top priority in the long run?

To alleviate poverty by instilling education into the lives of children.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

April 26, 2011

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April 26, 2011

3 years ago, Chris Ta and I started this Organization with an idea. Since then, it has grown to over 60 volunteers, 3 countries, and over 2000 students - all thanks to the hard work of an all-volunteer board and staff. Since 2008, ETA4 has succeeded more than I ever thought it could, and we are close to making the dream of a fully connected world a reality.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

interactions every day with students whose lives have been positively affected by ETA4. Whether its as small and insignificant ans being able to have a conversation with an English speaking friend to the immense success of studying in a foreign country, I have seen that the work we do is good, and I am proud.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Get more people involved! ETA4 can only grow on the backs of its volunteers! The more staff, the more programs, and the more programs, the more lives we can affect.

More feedback...

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization beyond what is required of board members?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

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