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Raising the bar for Indonesian students
After a devastating 2004 tsunami killed thousands in Indonesia and destroyed his hometown, JMU graduate student Mailizar ('11) worked to rebuild the houses that were the homes of his friends and family. While working with U.S. aid workers, Mailizar realized that the rebuilding needed to be deeper; the foundations of the society needed to be reshaped. Receiving encouragement from his relief worker friends, he enrolled in a Syiah Kuala University in Indonesia and graduated in 2006 with a degree in mathematics education. He started teaching children right away. Making do with the limited funds and resources, Mailizar taught mathematics in an Indonesian school, contributing to a growing sense of importance of education in Indonesia. To the tsunami-stricken nation of Indonesia, education is a luxury. Yet teaching wasn't enough, he realized. Without proper materials or training, teachers couldn't meet his country's growing educational demands. Mailizar traveled around the world to James Madison University, to receive his masters of education with a specialization in educational technology. After he graduates, Mailizar plans to return to Indonesia to teach teachers, helping educators learn new methods for incorporating technology into the classroom and changing his country by raising the bar and the opportunities for Indonesian students.
"To me, change is noticing what's happening around us and taking positive action to change the bad things."