Matthew Bates and Mary Ann Miller have been chosen to serve as United Youth Corp's first volunteers at the Amman Baccalaureate School (ABS) in Amman, Jordan. The couple, who will soon be married, will be teacher's assistants at the premier preparatory school in Amman. They will report for new faculty orientation in August, and work at the school until graduation in June 2008.
The 10-month program will allow Matthew and Mary Ann an opportunity to teach young people and influence them with a powerful example of morality, discipline and Christian conduct.
The school will be providing housing, transportation and a small monthly stipend for the couple during their stay in Jordan. They will also have opportunities for travel throughout the region. Jerusalem, Damascus, Cairo, Beirut and Istanbul are within an hour's flight or a day's drive of Amman. During 10 months of immersion, they will learn to speak and read Arabic and have a chance to meet members of the royal family.
Matthew is a member from the Bakersfield, California, congregation and Mary Ann is a member from the Cambridge, Ohio, congregation. Both are recent Ambassador Bible Center graduates.
This opportunity came about after a visit to Amman by David Register, director of Education Programs, and Cory Erickson, elder from St. Paul, Minnesota, and Festival coordinator for the 2007 Jordan Feast site. In April they were invited by Princess Sarvath al Hassan, of the Jordanian royal family, to meet and discuss opportunities for United Youth Corps in Jordan. The princess serves as the chairwoman of the board of trustees for the school.
The princess discussed the need for assistant teachers who could bring "strong character instruction, youthful vitality, and new educational ideas" to the faculty and students at the Amman Baccalaureate School. University-aged volunteers from the Church served at the school as assistant teachers in the early 1990s. Their influence left a lasting impression with the princess and the faculty at ABS. She said that the school board had met a couple of weeks prior to the April visit and discussed the desire to have young adults from the Church serve again.
The Amman Baccalaureate School just celebrated its 25th anniversary and focuses on "academic and social development" in an "aesthetically pleasant and nurturing environment" and "an unwavering commitment to the performing arts, music, literature, sports, and service activities." The K-12 school, located about 20 kilometers (about 12 miles) south of Amman, has about 1,000 students.
"The timing to launch this project is perfect. It seems as though God is opening a door for us," said Mr. Register.
"Two major outcomes for our United Youth Corps program are that our young adults learn to identify with the global nature of the work of the Church and serve as witnesses to Christ as outlined in Acts 1:8. We are starting small this year by sending one couple to Jordan. Next year we hope to send more United Youth Corps young adults and couples to serve in other venues including the Young Muslim Women's Association (YMWA) Centre for the Mentally Challenged, the Al Hussein Society Center for the Physically Challenged and the Amman Baccalaureate School."
2008: Six-Week Program
Next summer (2008), United Youth Corps will send 10 to 15 young adults on a six-week experience to Jordan and Israel to serve at summer camps in the Jordanian schools mentioned above and a three-week archaeological dig. The experience will also include tours of interesting historical sites throughout Jordan and Israel.
If you are interested in the six-week UYC experience or the 10-month teaching program at ABS, please contact Doug Horchak (firstname.lastname@example.org) or check our United Youth Corps Web site at www.ucgyouthcorps.org.