Karen Orozco at NicaPhoto is LUV’s Global Partner Teacher of the Year

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Karen Orozco, Level Up Village teacher at NicaPhoto in Nagarote, Nicaragua, works with a student as she prepares a video letter back to her global partners at Oak Grove Elementary School in Roanoke, VA, as part of LUVs Global Water Crisis course.

The team at Level Up Village is delighted to recognize Karen Orozco at NicaPhoto in Nicaragua as Global Partner Teacher of the Year for 2017. Karen has taught seven different Level Up Village courses including LUV’s newest courses: Global Water Crisis and Global Game Strategists. Her favorite course to teach so far is Global Doctors Anatomy.

”We loved those moments when we were dissecting a frog, a cow’s eye while studying the information about overall and specific diseases that are very common nowadays,” said Karen. “And it was great to see the similarities that human beings have with some animals.”

Karen’s students live in the Sonrisa de Dios neighborhood of Nagarote in homes that were only recently wired for electricity. Despite the many challenges the children face in their daily lives, they are receiving cutting-edge technology instruction at NicaPhoto through their Level Up Village courses.

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Karen Orozco (left) receives her Teacher of the Year plaque from LUVs Nicki Brill during her recent visit to NicaPhoto.

“It is very important to give the opportunity for the kids to take these kinds of courses because they are able to discover their passion, like one of my students, Milena. She has told in a couple of video letters to her global partners that she would like to be a doctor when she grows up,” said Karen.

Through their Level Up Village courses, the children have learned to everything from how to a computer for the first time to cutting-edge skills such as CAD and 3D printing, video game design and more.

“Previously, they did not know how to turn on a laptop. Now they use them by themselves and feel very confident,” said Karen.

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Karen’s favorite Level Up Village course to teach is Global Doctors Anatomy, which combines specimen dissection with global health issues.

In addition, they are learning to communicate with confidence with their partner students in the United States.

“Another achievement is that some of them are not nervous anymore to record a short video letter. From the video letters, they can get an idea of their global partner’s culture and they learn a new way of thinking about their education,” said Karen.

“Some families in the Sonrisa de Dios neighborhood of Nagarote do not send their children to school when they get bad grades. They think that the solution to this problem is to send children to work to get money and bring home, but it is not the best solution. The LUV courses provide a great opportunity to teach these kids that they can break this cycle and have a different and better future,” added Karen.

“Karen is a dedicated, passionate person that cares about her students and wants to give them the best opportunities to better themselves. By teaching the LUV classes to the students she is helping to lay the foundation for their future,” said Mark Dulsky, Director of Global Partnerships for Level Up Village. “She provides the spark to ignite their curiosity about the world beyond their village and the various educational and professional paths that they never knew were available to them.”

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Karen (on the far right) has taught many of Level Up Village’s global STEAM courses in which children collaborate with partner students in the United States. She believes these opportunities help children gain confidence and strive for a brighter future.