Global Playground Announces 2016-17 Teaching Fellows

Monday, June 20, 2016 | posted by Scott Gemmell-Davis |
Global Playground is excited to announce the selection of our 2016-17 Teaching Fellows, Willa Sweeney and Yohance Whitaker. Next year Willa and Yohance will teach English at Global Playground’s project sites in Thailand and Vietnam, respectively.

Willa, a recent graduate of the University of Virginia, is thrilled to bring her talents to the Mae La Noi Daroonsik School in the Mae Hong Son province of Thailand. After studying abroad and conducting research on Hmong women, gender-based violence, and poverty in Sah Pa, Vietnam, Willa developed the belief that there is a distinct difference between being a tourist and being someone who is fully enveloped and invested in a culture. “In Vietnam, I could speak some of the language, I knew where the best places were to grab food, and I made local Vietnamese friends,” said Willa. “I’m excited to return to Thailand as a teacher and volunteer rather than as a tourist.”



Yohance, a recent graduate of the College of William & Mary, will be teaching at Khe Sanh Primary School in Quang Tri province, Vietnam. Yohance sees his fellowship as an opportunity to further Global Playground’s mission of cross-cultural education. He believes “we get closer to a community of love the earlier a child learns to recognize the humanity and perspective of another human being.” He plans to help his students develop the skills to build that community through cross-cultural curriculum.


Willa and Yohance will move to Southeast Asia on August 1st and meet the current Global Playground Teaching Fellows, Amanda Cordray, Scott Gemmell-Davis, and Kendall Lorenzen, for training.