Hart overcomes cultural differences
When Adams Central and Huntington University graduate Kim Hart traveled to China to teach English a few years ago, she never realized how closely connected she was with Chinese people in spite of cultural differences.
"It got to where my heart really connected with theirs," said Hart. "In spite of cultural differences between us, I was really moved to see how much they care about and connect with their families. They are very gracious people.
"They are very relationship oriented," Hart said. "There was a lot of good things for me to learn while I was over in China. They cared about our people and our needs and concerns."
When Hart graduated from Adams Central in 2005, she went to Huntington University, but she wasn't sure what type of major she wanted to get involved with.
"My older sister (Kristen) went to Huntington. I decided to visit as a senior and I liked the atmosphere," said Kim. "I always had a desire to live and work overseas during the time I was at Huntington. I had the opportunity to go on a short-term trip. I went with a non-profit organization to help with English."
Hart said she actually became interested in teaching English in China when a couple of her professors at Huntingon told her about a simple non-profit organization that sends out professionals to assist with English needs in various countries. The first year that Hart served, she was placed in a school with need on the east coast of China. The first year, her class was especially filled with college sophomores. The second year she taught at a community language center.
"It was definitely a challenge to leave your family and friends and everything," observed Hart. "It was great to develop connections over a period of time to learn about their culture. By the end of the second year, the place I came to that seemed so foreign, a place where I struggled, had become home."
When she returned to the United States, Hart began to look at different aides and assistant positions. Quickly, it appeared that the signs were pointing toward Adams Central.
"I had never worked with special needs before, but I am very thankful to work here," said Hart, of her position at Adams Central. "I am so thankful to have the opportunity to work here with these students. They fill me with a lot of joy every day. I have learned a lot from them.
"I love to see how they love to learn, the joy they get from learning and things they accomplish exciting. I love their hearts; people's hearts are worth more than anything," said Hart.
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