Wednesday, October 4
NMU alumna Megan Janczak (’17 MS) is volunteering as a grammar teacher and director of marketing at John Paul II Junior College in Benque Viejo del Carmen, Belize.
With an enrollment of about 36 students, the college and its sister high school were founded by a Catholic priest and have sustained themselves through donations and volunteer teachers.
“John Paul II is a liberal arts college that is trying to help Belizeans become successful, articulate, well-rounded people who can best serve and help their community grow,” said Janczak. “Without volunteer teachers, there would be no college or high school.”
Janczak had gone on a mission trip to Belize with the Fellowship of Catholic University Students at the end of the summer. She said she fell in love with the town and felt a spiritual calling to return there.
“Belize is a beautiful country filled with wonderful people,” she said. “Overall, the school has some really intelligent, innovative, kind students who hopefully will be able to thrive and follow their ambitions with the guidance given to them at school.”
Janczak said that teaching at John Paul II is challenging since the school system lacks funding and resources, but the school takes full advantage of the resources it has. As a volunteer teacher, she receives housing, food and a modest living stipend of $23 USD per week.
The Bessemer native received her master's degree in post-secondary biology education from NMU.