MCB concentrator Bridget Keegan (‘19) has been chosen as a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant (ETA). The award will support nine months of teaching and volunteering in Galicia, Spain. She will assist local teachers at a multilingual high school where many classes are conducted in Spanish, English, and Galician. She’ll be using an approach called Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL), where students learn about subjects, such as science, in a second language, allowing students to learn both the science and the language through a single course.
“Bridget has made excellent use of her time at Harvard by actively considering and exploring her interests,” says MCB concentration advisor Dominic Mao. “It is wonderful to hear she has been awarded the Fulbright! Her experience in Spain will add so much value to her training as a teacher.”
While in Spain, Keegan will also take on a volunteer project. She plans to work with an organization that provides support and companionship to elderly people.
“Through this volunteer experience I hope to become involved in the community I live in, improve the daily lives of the people I work with while forming a meaningful bond, and learn more about Spanish language and culture directly from hearing about all of their life experiences,” Keegan says.
She sees the year abroad as the culmination of her time at Harvard. Her interest in the Spanish language took root before college, but Keegan didn’t visit a Spanish-speaking country until she went to Buenos Aires, Argentina through Harvard’s Study Abroad Programs during her sophomore year. That experience deepened her desire to learn more about the language and the cultures that speak it.
The Fulbright experience complements the volunteer work Keegan has done during her time at Harvard through the student-led public service organization Phillips Brooks House Association (PBHA).
As part of the Harvard College Alzheimer’s Buddies program, she makes a weekly expedition to Senior Hebrew Life to spend time with her buddy. “I think the individual care and attention is really invaluable,” Keegan says. “It’s so rewarding to see him laugh and smile.”
Since her junior year, Keegan has also volunteered as a tutor in the Franklin Afterschool Enrichment (FASE) program. She works one-on-one with young students from the Franklin Field and Franklin Hill public housing developments. “Working with the students at FASE is usually the highlight of my week,” Keegan says. “My experiences from FASE motivated me to explore other opportunities in education, and consider education as a career.”