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CONWAY, Ark. (July 22, 2013) – Gretchen McCarthy, a sophomore from St. Louis, Mo., taught French and English this summer to children in Saint Louis, Senegal.

McCarthy worked as a volunteer for a month in a care center that offered classes to children who do not attend school. Her project was part of the Projects Abroad program.

A French and Spanish double major, her project goals were to figure out if she truly wanted to pursue a career in education and to push herself out of her comfort zone.

Despite her proficiency in French, McCarthy felt that the biggest obstacle was her communication with students, particularly with the younger students who spoke only Wolof, a native Senegalese language.

In addition to improving her French, McCarthy gained a new perspective on teaching and learning, something she wants to bring back to Hendrix with her, in addition to her desire to inspire others who also want to teach abroad.

Upon her graduation from Hendrix, McCarthy wants to be an elementary foreign language teacher.

“I loved when I would quiz some of the older students on the lesson from the day before and they would remember almost everything,” she said. “That was a great feeling.”

Founded in 1876, Hendrix College is a national leader in engaged liberal arts and sciences education. For the fifth consecutive year, Hendrix was named one of the country’s “Up and Coming” liberal arts colleges by U.S. News and World Report. Hendrix is featured in the 2012 edition of the Princeton Review as one of the country’s best 377 colleges, the latest edition of Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think about Colleges, Forbes magazine's annual list of America's Top 650 Colleges, and the 2013 edition of the Fiske Guide to Colleges. Hendrix has been affiliated with the United Methodist Church since 1884. For more information, visit