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Siera Hanks and Eh Nay Thaw

Two students from Centre College in Kentucky spend the month of June with our students in Yangon and Kyaing Tong, helping them with conversational English. This pilot program is the first phase of what we hope will develop into a year-long program. Through structured conversation workshops and social interaction, the American students will help their Myanmar counterparts develop an “ear” for colloquial English.

The two Centre College freshmen - Eh Nay Thaw and Siera Hanks - are particularly suited to be Cetana’s first American interns. Eh Nay Thaw was born in Myanmar and at the age of two years fled with his family to a refugee camp in Thailand. In high school in the US he built an impressive record of volunteering, including as an interpreter and tutor to newly-arrived Karen refugees who lacked English language skills. Eh Nay Thaw is highly motivated. He “hopes that one day I will be able to return to Myanmar and share my knowledge with those that have not had the opportunity and experiences that they deserve.”

Siera Hanks is headed for a career in international affairs. She, too, has been active in volunteer activities both on-campus and with immigrant and refugee communities in Louisville. Siera says, “I see this internship as both a continuation of my current efforts and studies, and as a path to further experiences and opportunities. This experience will support my future work within the immigrant and ESL community of Louisville.”

Cetana is proud to have these talented and committed students as our first interns. This is definitely a two-way street, with our young interns learning about conditions and opportunities in a far flung country and our Cetana students enhancing their English and expanding their knowledge about customs in other parts of the world.

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