Adriana Estrada

UWC attended: Lester B. Pearson United World College of the Pacific (Canada)
Class Year: Class of 2015

After graduating with a B. A. in Psychology and Hispanic Studies from Lewis & Clark, I began exploring into potential career options mainly in the area of teaching Spanish as a second language. My very first job after graduation was a position as a Spanish language assistant at Lewis & Clark. I greatly enjoyed my experience teaching conversational Spanish and engaging with staff and professors at the foreign language department.

When my one-year contract ended, I moved to the Solomon Islands. There, I was lucky enough to explore other areas of work, mainly in development.

I first volunteered at the Family Support Centre (FSC), a local organization that provides psychological, medical and paralegal support to victims and survivors of sexual and gender-based violence. My main role involved assisting in securing funding for the centre. I drafted a project proposal requesting funds to expand the centre’s services to other provinces and remote areas in the Solomon Islands, which ended up being successful.

After my volunteer work with FSC, I got a short-term contract with the United Nations Development Program to work on an electoral project (Strengthening the Electoral Cycle in the Solomon Islands Project –SECSIP). My main role involved identifying areas of support to strengthen the management of the project and the implementation of activities. I also engaged in writing periodical reports and assisted with activities to increase women’s leadership and political participation.

Now, I have recently started a position as an Adult Literacy Program Coordinator with the Mothers’ Union and the Anglican Church of Melanesia. I have been assisting our curriculum officer with developing a learning and teaching framework for adult literacy, and have been conducting interviews to produce a baseline report to advance the literacy program. My role after we complete the curriculum will include training volunteer teachers and coordinators to deliver adult literacy classes in all 9 provinces of the Solomon Islands. Additionally, I will be developing a facilitators’ manual, learning and teaching resources, as well as a framework to conduct regular monitoring and evaluation exercises.

Finally, if everything goes well (fingers crossed!) I will be starting a master of Development Studies at Sydney University next year.

That is it for now, but I would like to end by saying how grateful I am to the Shelby and Gale Davis Foundation, Lewis & Clark’s international students & scholars office, and my professors (specially from the Foreign language department) for the support (financial, social, personal, and academic) given to me, which enabled me to complete my degree and made me a confident, capable, and successful professional.