The Fulbright English Teaching Assistant Program in Timor-Leste is a 9-month grant that allows Fulbrighters to teach English and participate in cultural diplomacy in a university setting in Dili or Gleno.
Preston earned a BA in Religion with a minor in Poverty Studies and Social Justice. He was involved in several student organizations, a participant in the Baylor in Washington program where he interned for Congressman Ed Case, and was elected to membership in Phi Beta Kappa. He also engaged his passions for music and community leadership through his service in several Waco churches.
Upon returning to the U.S., Preston plans on pursuing an MDiv and, eventually, a PhD in Religious studies.
More from Preston
I applied because I have an interest in cultural exchange and have a passion for helping others realize their potential and infinite worth. Hawaiʻi is a famous destination, but few are familiar with our culture and ideals; rather, there is a tendency to dismiss or minimize our culture in favor of producing an idealized paradise. My desire is to shed light on the diversity of human cultures and experiences so that every voice may be heard. God’s creation is beautiful, and I think it would benefit all of us to “love our neighbors” in a manner that encompasses and appreciates their whole being. Thus, I hope to engage in a mutualistic cultural exchange with the Timorese that we may all benefit from an interchange of ideas and values.
The application process was lengthy, but it was certainly worthwhile. It forced me to be introspective and reflect on who I am and why I want to help others find their voices. Although it can be a daunting task, I would encourage others to remember that there is much good that can come from simply applying. If you have a heart for service and fostering cultural connections, I would definitely recommend applying! I’d be open for applicants to contact me as well.