CoRE Team Interview - Questions with Ewelina

We talk with CoRE's Events, Communications & Alumni Manager, Ewelina, about her story through the CoRE program and why she has come back to help the foundation.

What is your role in the CoRE Learning Foundation team?

I’m part of the marketing, events and alumni group as the Events, Communications & Alumni Manager.

Why did you feel inspired to join?

It had been quite some time since finishing high school and graduating from uni when Suzy reached out (though we had always stayed in touch and I up to date with her efforts thanks to social media) regarding growing the CoRE group and asked whether I’d like to join. I had always been inspired by Suzy as my Earth and Environmental teacher in my final high school years, and not only took a great interest in the subject, yet even more so by the passion, enthusiasm and belief Suzy always has in her students and as well as colleagues. It was easy to say ‘yes’ to CoRE as I knew getting to collaborate with Suzy again would be great; being able to help and support her in this, (hopefully) as much as she has helped me develop as a life-long learner and person.

As one of the first alumni of the CoRE teaching philosophy and program, how has what you learned brought you to where you are today?

Aside from the keen interest in Earth science, geology and the sciences in general, from Suzy through the early years of what we now call CoRE, I learned that no matter what you choose to pursue in life it is up to you to develop personal strength, courage and self-believe in the ability to find confidence within you. Suzy was then and continues to be a great educator, but more importantly a dedicated person to bringing out the best in people, to help us realise our potential and go after what we want and see our reflection to be that of a capable individual. To be taught by such a force of encouragement is something that you may realise in those moments, yet only truly appreciate later on when you see yourself applying what you’ve learnt; and this goes beyond standard classroom textbooks.

What is a fond memory you have from your time as a CoRE student?

There were many, such as in-class experiments where we had to use our imagination and yes - even writing reports on our findings. One of my fondest memories is our international fieldtrip in year 12, when I couldn’t believe one of my childhood dreams of going to Hawaii really came true (believed it only when we landed in Honolulu and the air smelled different, the warm tropical breeze wafting through the airport doors, which was only the beginning to the trip of a lifetime). That fieldtrip was truly magical, and the journey didn’t stop there, as we also travelled to New Zealand which was (literally) a breath of fresh air; until we crossed a small part of the ocean and arrived in what felt like the crust of another planet, covered with yellow sulphuric vents and bubbling lakes of volcanic concoctions – as we had arrived at the strato-volcanic island of Whakaari. I can hardly believe that was 7 years ago.

Did your CoRE learning experience help you reach any big accomplishments?

I’m sure you can consider approaching life experiences with a curious eye and a keen spirit to life-long learning as an accomplishment. It never allows you to settle and think “I’ve made it now – there’s nothing more to do”. Thanks to CoRE and Suzy’s mentorship, I’ll never look at a rock the same way again, and continue to appreciate the efforts it takes to awaken your inner self-believe – just as Suzy is inspiring the next generations of youngsters to do.

2020 is the CoRE Learning Foundation’s 10-year anniversary. Where do you see CoRE in the next 10 years?

Through the looking glass I’d like to believe CoRE will not only be integrated in educational forums and teaching curriculums, yet will be a national standard of how we teach our kids – they are the future, and it is our responsibility now (there’s not better time than the present) to pass on our teachings to ensure they have the right foundation to help them build the future we want in the world. CoRE is the vessel to realisation that the way people learn best, as they have for hundreds if not thousands of years, is through experiences, touch, smell, hearing – through all our senses that are found in the ‘real world’, and not inside a textbook; which bleaks to be second-hand knowledge and less relatable if we don’t provide opportunities to experience things for ourselves; to truly embody what we learn, are captivated by and want to develop our understanding of.

What #therealclassroom means to you:

“I believe that education should go beyond the classroom, and focus on students' engagement and the change they can make in the real world for a better future."

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