A STUDENT is preparing to fly halfway around the world to spend a year teaching disadvantaged children.
In August, Amy Hudson, a second-year college student, will swap Darlington for Chile, in South America, where she will spend the year teaching English to primary school pupils.
Amy, who turns 18 next month, is also a keen musician and is hoping to get the youngsters interested in music through extracurricular activities.
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She was chosen out of thousands of applicants for the placement with Project Trust, but needs to raise £5,400 to pay for her trip, which will be used to fund education in South America.
Amy, who is working towards her A-levels in photography, theatre studies and psychology at Carmel College, has so far sold gifts at Richmond Christmas Fair, organised a bottle raffle, and roped her friends into a sponsored New Year’s Day dip into the freezing North Sea.
Through her charity fundraising, she has raised more than £600 and is hoping to raise the additional £4,800 over the next few months.
Although she has not spent more than a week away from home before, the 17-year-old said she cannot wait to head to Chile to begin her gap year adventure.
“I am quite a shy person but over the past few years I have become more confident which is why I chose to do it - I am so excited about getting out there,” she said.
After being inspired by a talk by the Project Trust when they visited her college, Amy applied and was sent on a five-day trip to the Isle of Coll, in the Inner Hebrides, in Scotland, with dozens of other volunteers.
There, her strengths and weaknesses were assessed, and she was later offered her first choice placement in Chile.
“I liked the idea of going to South America, and Chile was one of the few places you could stay with a host family,” she said.
Amy will fly out to Chile in August with a group of Project Trust volunteers before moving into her host family’s home along with another volunteer.
“I am looking forward to experiencing another culture so closely and learning their language,” she said.
“It will be a challenge but I can’t wait to get there and start teaching at the school.”
To donate to her fundraising, visit virginmoneygiving.com/amyhudsongapyearinchile