Tirzah Allen has the traveling bug. Immediately after high school she packed her bags and headed to Scotland for a year-long adventure. She worked odd jobs, met people from all different backgrounds and explored the country. “That time planted the seeds of travel in my life,” says Allen, who’s enrolled in the Master of Arts in TESOL program. And it wasn’t long before those seeds started to germinate.
After graduating with a BA in English and communication, Allen began researching grad schools. “I had no idea that MU offered grad programs, but I happened to stumble upon it,” she says. “I chose TESOL because I wanted the ability to open more doors and be challenged continuously. I don’t want to be too comfortable, and I want to keep extending myself. This requires a built-in sense of adventure.”
That sense of adventure is being satisfied during her studies at Multnomah. Not only does she have enriching classroom time, but she also teaches weekly, on-campus ESL classes. “This is the full program, plus the tools to succeed,” she says. “I’ve had the opportunity to meet with people from Burma, Vietnam, Cuba and beyond.”
Whether she’s preparing coffee for her customers in Roger’s Café, or bantering with her Cuban students over homework, Allen strives to reflect Jesus in every interaction. “Finding a Christian in a public setting is like finding an agate on the beach,” she says. “There is something that sparkles. I can’t always out rightly incorporate the gospel in every environment, but I can always show others what I believe.”
Allen is also enjoying each of her professors. “These are teachers who really care,” she says. “It emanates from them, and they go above and beyond what is required. Their servants’ hearts are evident. I’m learning that a teacher’s journey is one of servitude. I want to inspire my students to aspire to be more.”
Allen doesn’t know where the seeds of travel will take root. But she does know she has an open heart for wherever God leads her. “I’d love to teach overseas,” she says. “Anywhere, anytime, any way. Wherever God sends I will go. I’m taking my life one step at a time.”