Intel Education Service Corp: Vietnam here we come!

The Intel Education Service Corp is on the road again. Vietnam is one of the five countries where talented Intel employees will be traveling to work with non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to support the deployment of Intel-powered classmate PCs for disadvantaged children. Melissa Williams will be relaying her team’s experiences in working with Orphan Overseas. Meet the team and check back for new posts from Melissa.

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Vietnam here we come!

by Melissa Williams

I am on my way to Hong Kong then on to Vietnam, Ho Chi Min City as part of an Intel Education Service Corps (IESC) team partnering with Orphan Overseas to introduce the kids to computers and technology, some for the first time. Orphans Overseas is a non-profit organization based in Portland, Oregon. Orphans Overseas has operated in Vietnam since 1993. Orphan Impact, a project of Orphans Overseas USA, began in March 2009 and is currently running in 8 orphanages (7 in North/Central Vietnam and 1 in South Vietnam), offering computer education to about 650 orphaned or at-risk children. The project is focused on utilizing Intel-powered Classmate PCs and the internet to introduce institutionalized orphans to a new type of learning – using the modern web as a tool for communication, research, and problem solving – while diminishing their sense of isolation and helping them to feel a greater connection to the world beyond the orphanage walls.

IESC Vietnam team.jpgMy name is Melissa Williams and I will be working with a team of 4 others – Lori Bradford, Minh Pham, Matthias Giessler, and Hoang Nguyen in Vietnam. I will be serving as the lead blogger to keep you up to date on our adventures. Lori, Minh and I come from the Oregon site, Matthias from Arizona, and Hoang from California. See the team to the right (right to left: Lori, Matthias, Melissa, Hoang, Minh). We’ll have to compare before and after pictures!

Our team has been working together for a month to prepare for this adventure and we are looking forward to working with the local teachers and children in Vietnam. I am very excited to have the privilege of bring you this adventure as we go and hope that I can capture the full experience. We just landed in Hong Kong and are making our way now to Vietnam. I will be updating you from there!

About Me

I recently moved from Arizona to Oregon for work in finance at Intel and have been with the company for 6 years. I grew up in AZ, in the sunshine, my entire life so the move just over a year ago to OR was a huge adventure! As part of the finance rotation program I applied for my next job in the Northwest and to my shock got it. So within a month of getting the offer I packed up, secured renters for my place, and took the long scenic drive to OR up the Pacific Coast Highway. Before I came to Intel, I attended Arizona State University in Tempe, and played competitive women’s rugby for the school (go Lady Devils!) and received my undergrad degrees in Finance and Management. I love ASU so much I went back to school at night while working for Intel and received my MBA in 2008.

ISEC Vietnam_Lori_Williams.jpgI also really enjoy running. Maybe that’s a slight understatement. I run a lot. Hum, that about sums it up! I love to run really and have been able to branch out with the extreme variety and amazing running community in the North West. I have run two 100 milers, four 50 milers, and many 50K’s, timed events (24 hours), and marathons for a total of 48 marathon distance or longer events in the past just under 3 years. This picture to the left is one of my favorite races- 100 in the Hood at Mt. Hood in OR, my first 100 mile run.

Outside of work, running, and doing awesome service projects like IESC I like to do all the fun stuff including dressing up and spending time with good friends. I am also currently working on my CPA because I am a big nerd and love to be in school. I really love to read, study, and learn new things in a variety of methods including the traditional classroom and the classroom of life. I am a strict vegetarian and have been one since I was 7 years old; I really think Bambi got to me. I also love music, hip hop music being my favorite and that means I also really like to dance. If you are interested my favorite song right now is Like a G6- Far East Movement, great beat!

One Response to Intel Education Service Corp: Vietnam here we come!

  1. Melissa says:

    2 days in Vietnam! October 8, 2010
    We have been in Vietnam for 2 days and so far the team is having a blast! On day one we met up with Tad and started to get the classroom PC’s ready for the classroom. We spent the morning doing this at a coffee house and working together as a team for the first time, all went well see the team in action below. Once the PC’s were up and running we then went through the lesson plan for the next day and planned out the first session we were to deliver in the morning.
    After a successful prep day we started off day 2 early and headed out to our first orphanage. We worked arrived and set up for our first session with 8 girls ages 13-18 and went through a 2 hour lesson. For many of these students it was their first time ever using a PC so we went through all of the steps from opening a PC to turning it on to basic mousing and then started to open programs and work with different applications. The girls were very fast at picking up the instructions even though some of us were communicating in English and they were only able to speak Vietnamese. It was a real treat to see some of their faces light up as they learned to draw or type. For the closing activity we accessed the computers camera and made a power point slide that featured their picture, and this was very exciting. We also sent the girls on their way with a photo taken in class of them that we were able to print out on a mini printer. Overall it was a very successful session and it seemed like the girls enjoyed the instruction. We also shared some American candy with them students, it was their first taste of jelly beans and they seemed hesitant, but overall I think they may have enjoyed them. We are looking forward to day 3 in Vietnam!!!