Meadville Tribune

Lifestyles

January 22, 2014

Know your passion, follow it and the light of purpose will find you

Teaching is learning. Learning is living.

Four and a half years ago, as I carted the belongings I had into my dorm-to-be nestled on the ground floor of Allegheny College’s Baldwin Hall, I was your typical giddy college freshman — naive but jumping out of my shoes to take on the world. Today, I owe it to my Allegheny education for fueling my growth and preparing me to tackle the trials and challenges of the real world that lie ahead.

Like most of my fellow first-year Alleghenians, I was diving headfirst off a pier into the vast ocean of my college career without a clue where I wanted to go with my life — searching for some sense of meaning and purpose. Now, after exploring the depths of my liberal arts education as a political science major and writing minor, I surfaced from the waters, clutching the pearl which has given my wandering soul direction. The jewel I found that represents my obtainment of meaning and purpose lay within a small company’s shell — The American Scholar Group (ASG). This gem is more than just a job; it is something to fuel my passions and dedicate my being to. However, the day before I made this discovery, I could not have told you that I would find it the very next day.

One evening I was talking with a good friend of mine, explaining my desire to teach English in South Korea. My fascination with Korean traditions, love of teaching and curiosity about foreign culture drew me to pursue international education. My friend must have sensed a spark of drive within me, and so, during our conversation he shot back that his father owns an organization — The American Scholar Group — whose mission is up my alley of interest. By the end of our discussion, he wanted me to come aboard with ASG. Before long, I had been through a series of interviews and found myself squarely inside its headquarters located in Greenville. According ASG Chief Executive Officer and Chairman David Ho, the company is a one-of-a-kind organization.

“American Scholar is the United States’ front-runner in educational consulting, which offers specialized, full-service assistance to international students and their families who are seeking schooling in American K-12 programs, as well as placement into colleges and universities in the U.S,” he explained.

However, it was not simple blind luck that opened the door to this opportunity for me. My years of learning experiences at Allegheny endowed me with a wealth of sharpened skills, knowledge and wisdom which I carry with me and apply to every facet of life each day. Without these qualities and my finely-tuned passion, I may have still found myself lost, swimming about the seas searching for a sense of purpose and direction. Even though I have been an employee for only a few weeks, I have learned how crucial communication, analytical and problem-solving skills are to maintaining a highly functional workplace. Thankfully, Allegheny equipped me with these traits so that I may contribute to ASG’s growth.

My final semester at Allegheny, I participated in a course which works alongside the Crawford County READ program where I assisted a Meadville resident, named Jeff, through tutoring. Though I improved my teaching skills, most importantly, I learned how to listen. Lending an ear, offering advice and ultimately improving Jeff’s quality of life left me with the greatest feeling. My ASG co-worker Megan Brundage, who is pursuing a master’s degree in education at Clarion University of Pennsylvania, has likewise learned from her experiences in school.

“My education classes provided me a framework for planning, organizing and preparing to work with teens. My previous jobs have allowed me to gain much-needed teaching experience that has helped me with my work for ASG.”

While the mind is essential to operating a company, so is the heart in equal parts. Like one of America’s greatest leaders, Martin Luther King Jr., whose life we celebrate this week, I have learned that constantly striving to help others will carry one to heights unattainable through sheer intellect. My observations and experiences have led me to believe that the most successful companies are ones that mirror a family structure; a circle of closely-knit human beings who have their differences, but at the end of the day place the needs of others above their own, and are bound by love, respect and kindness. At times, thinking will lead you in the right direction, but you must look inside of your heart to find the answer.

Know your passion. Follow it into the darkness of uncertainty, through the unknown, and the light of purpose will find you as it found me. My boss, Bob Stanger, a former Keystone High School teacher of 14 years, captured what I believe to be the essence of education: “Teaching is a learning experience. I learn as much as I do from the students as they do from me.”

Robert Litz is a soon-to-be graduate of Allegheny College.

1
Text Only
Lifestyles
  • web_starbucks-cof_big_ce.jpg Starbucks sees more Apple-like stores after Colombia debut

    This week Starbucks opened its first location in Colombia — a 2,700-square-foot store with a heated patio, concrete columns, mirrors on the ceiling and walls of colorful plants.

    July 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Are America's biggest alcohol brands targeting the country's underage youth?

    Underage drinkers - those between the ages of 18 and 20, most specifically - are more heavily exposed to printed alcohol advertisements than any other age group, according to a new study. And it's America's biggest booze companies that could be to blame.

    July 10, 2014

  • How professors are using Facebook to teach

    Technology is an established part of the lives of students. But university lecturers are becoming increasingly frustrated at how they must compete with tablets and laptops for students' attention in the lecture hall.

    July 10, 2014

  • Why does the Vatican need a bank?

    The Vatican Bank's history reads more like Dan Brown than the financial pages, but its worst -- and weirdest -- days may be behind it.

    July 10, 2014

  • Careful planning is the key to a successful Mother’s Day visit

    Are you planning to visit your mom at a senior living residence for Mother’s Day? Are you wondering what you should do or what you should bring? Our experience may provide you with some valuable insight.

    May 10, 2014

  • Which foods are the worst for the environment?

    As with most arguments about our food supply, though, it's not that simple. Although beef is always climatically costly, pork or chicken can be a better choice than broccoli, calorie for calorie.

    March 12, 2014

  • Old Spice attracting women in gender-bending win for P&G

    Young women are embracing Old Spice - long known as the brand dad kept in the medicine cabinet - even as P&G's marketing continues to focus on their male peers.

    March 12, 2014

  • news_planesearch.jpg Missing Malaysian jetliner confuses a world that's online 24/7

    The disappearance five days ago of a Malaysian Airline Systems Bhd. aircraft with 239 people on board is confounding search teams and a global audience used to around-the-clock connectivity and real-time updates.

    March 12, 2014 1 Photo

  • news_nycexplosion.jpg VIDEO: Aftermath of NYC building collapse

    Footage from the New York Daily News shows firefighters responding to a building collapse at East 116th Street and Park Avenue in Harlem. At least 11 minor injuries had been reported late Wednesday morning.

    March 12, 2014 1 Photo

  • news_google.jpg First Apple, now Google hit with kids' app lawsuit

    Last month, 4- and 5-year-old brothers in New York quickly spent $65.95 in real money to buy virtual goods in Marvel's Run Jump Splash game on the family tablet. They were able to rack up the charges without entering a password. And for that, the boys' mother has joined a class-action lawsuit filed Tuesday against Google, accusing the company of deceiving consumers about its in-app purchase system, which critics say makes it too easy for kids to spend money on their Android devices.

    March 12, 2014 1 Photo

Business Marquee
AP Video
Raw: Japanese Soldiers Storm Beach in Exercises Raw: Weapons Fire Hits UN School in Gaza Raw: Rocket Launches Into Space With Cargo Ship Broken Water Main Floods UCLA Two Women Narrowly Avoid Being Hit by Train In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast New Sanctions on Key Sectors of Russian Economy Crayola Announces Family Attraction in Orlando US Ready to Slap New Sanctions on Russia Kerry: Not Worried About Israeli Criticism Boater Rescued From Edge of Kentucky Dam Girl Struck by Plane on Florida Beach Dies Rodents Rampant in Gardens Around Louvre House to Vote on Slimmed-down Bill for Border Looming Demand Could Undercut Flight Safety Raw: 2 Shells Hit Fuel Tank at Gaza Power Plant Raw: Massive Explosions From Airstrikes in Gaza Giant Ketchup Bottle Water Tower Up for Sale Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Stocks