My name is Joseph Shaver and I am a twenty-one-year-old, graduating senior from Radford University. I am majoring in Psychology, with minors in both Chinese and International Studies. I began studying my first foreign language, which was German, when I worked on my cousin’s farm as a child – his wife was from Germany. I then began studying Chinese formally, and have worked on projects in both Russian and Arabic. Because of my studies in Chinese, I was awarded the Hanyu Enrichment Scholarship from the Taiwan Ministry of Education and traveled to Taiwan in 2016. Once there, I found that not only did I enjoy learning foreign languages, I also enjoy teaching English to people who don’t speak it, or need help speaking it better.
When I returned to the United States. I began looking into becoming an English as a Secondary Language (ESL) teacher. In 2017 I was awarded the Kirk Scholarship from Radford University and traveled to China again. After this second trip to China, I began to seriously pursue it as a future career. This past December (2018) I earned a master-level certification in Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL).
I grew up in Pulaski, Virginia, and spent most of my youth as a Boy Scout (I was awarded the rank of Eagle Scout in 2015). I learned about the importance, and the joys, of helping others who are in need and to do my good turn daily. Some of my happiest memories are from my summers working the farm, camping, and feeding people at Daily Bread in Pulaski.
It is for these reasons that I could not sit idly by and ignore the posting that called for English teachers to come to Iraq this summer to join up with the Preemptive Love Coalition.