Meet your Colleagues: Justine in Norfolk

Name: Justine Davis
Site: Norfolk
School attending: Elon University
Returning teacher? New Teacher
Class(es) teaching:
9th Grade English and 9th Grade Seminar


My name is Justine Davis and I am a senior International Studies Major at Elon University. I just returned from 9 months in West Africa (Ghana, Senegal, Togo, the Gambia and Cape Verde) where I was studying and traveling. I have been struggling with justifying committing all of my time to development and assistance to Africa when there are people in my own community in the United States who need help as well. That is why I am very excited about Breakthrough and the opportunity it presents as a means to actually improve and enhance the education of our nation’s youth.

I like to think that spending time in Africa has prepared me for this summer at the program in Norfolk. The long hours waiting for any mode of transportation in rural Gambia, the bureaucratic system of receiving mail in Ghana, and the ten minute greetings required in Senegal have given me a profound amount of patience and a new outlook on the pace of life in the United States. But I think
I will need more than patience to successfully teach rising 9th graders the love of literature, the importance of clarifying a position in an argumentative paper and the uses of the semi-colon. I am looking forward to getting to know my students and demonstrating that learning can be fun. I hope that since it has only been four years since I was in high school, I can relate to what the students want and what they (and I) believe is the most efficient, effective, and exciting way to learn. Through my experiences abroad and in college, I want to enhance the students’ own experiences this summer and prepare them for success in the future.


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