From an early age, I have had an unquenchable longing to play a serving role in the world. At the age of seven I was motivated by an early realization and truth that there were children, like me, on the other side of the world with out water, food, shelter and education. Troubled by this awareness I decided to challenge my local church in supporting missions on a larger scale. Through self-organized fundraising (lemonade stands, bake sales and crocheted pot holders) and matching by the Thrivent foundation, I was able to fund three missionaries in India and pay for catechisms, cows and the building of a well in several countries in Africa.
Although my aspiration to serve in missions was sparked in me as a child, this aspiration has manifested itself in every aspect of my life. I received my undergrad from Transylvania University in Lexington, Ky where I had the honor of collaborating and learning from some of the world’s most inspiring teachers. I took classes that challenged me to question everything, motivated me to accomplish anything and equipped me with tools to make a positive impact in the world.
Today, that childhood desire to serve internationally has exceeded all my dreams. Currently I am living in Parit Buntar, Malaysia, working as a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant in a public secondary school. My days are filled with teaching, organizing crazy weekend English camps, music club, coffee dates, neighborhood soccer matches, line dancing, intense karaoke, fishing trips, sleep overs, cultural performances and lots and lots of eating. Through these experiences and more, my students and I have been opened to a new understanding of language, culture and each other. It has always been my hope that I would some day be a teacher, but more importantly a life long learner. I am so honored to have this opportunity to live, teach and learn in Malaysia.
The support and feedback I received from Transylvania University, as I applied and prepared for my Fulbright grant, is unparalleled. The education, opportunities and connections that Transy provides, has in all means enriched my life in an unforeseeable way. As I reflect on where I’ve been, where I am and where I’m going, it’s amazing to see that childhood dream of mine come full circle.
-Ruth Khola, a 2012 Transylvania Graduate is originally from Ashland, KY. Ruth studied Mathematics during her time at Transylvania.