September 14, 2010
Kelly has a passion for seeing children succeed

Her passion for seeing children succeed and her strong attraction to their unique creativity, are the reasons why Kelly Wagner decided to become a Peace Corps Volunteer.{{more}}

Wagner joined the Peace Corps organisation soon after she graduated from college.

The Chicago, Illinois, native spoke to SEARCHLIGHT about her special interest in children. “They are very imaginative and they are more open to different perspectives and they are

willing to work hard for something, and I just really love that they have so much energy,” Wagner said.

Wagner, who arrived in St. Vincent in September 2009, has been assigned to work at the Buccament Bay Secondary School and is involved in teaching literacy, sports and math.

Wagner has also started a few programmes at the school such as the establishment of a library and an interesting “sole searching” campaign to provide the athletes at the Buccament Bay Secondary School with running shoes. Wagner explained that as a past runner, she empathised with the children of the school, when she noticed that many of them did not have running shoes. “There are some really good athletes at Buccament Bay and so I thought that would be beneficial to them,” Wagner said.

“I contacted my mom and good friend who worked at a mall, so she put together a ‘sole searching’ campaign, and they were able to collect shoes from patrons from the mall and then my mom picked up shoes from people at work, and then my cousin … also collected a number of shoes from persons at her school. So from all of this, we have 11 boxes already and seven more….” she said, explaining the process involved in acquiring the shoes.

Wagner has also been involved in several community activities in Layou where she resided for the first year of her sojourn. She remembers special occasions such as preparing for Nine Mornings and spending time with children in the community. A recent resident of Buccament, Wagner is enjoying her time there and appreciates the warmth of the people of the community. “It’s a friendly place. It’s good. I like it just the way it is.” She also expressed her love of the Vincentian people, including those she works with, which she said are her motivation. “The people, they are really wonderful. It definitely gives me the motivation to get up everyday to go to school,” she said.

Wagner will leave St. Vincent on September of 2011, but until that time, she hopes to continue working at the school and continue with activities at school such as the building of the library and preparing for the Run Barbados tournament in December. She hopes to return to the USA after her assignment in St. Vincent to pursue a Bachelor in Education degree to become a teacher.