Graduate Profile: Kerry Dembowski Bryan
Even at a young age, Kerry Dembowski Bryan ’09 knew that she was destined for a career in education.
“When I was 7, I got a letter from my teacher before school started,” she says. “I remember telling my mom that when I was a teacher, I would send out letters, too. Since then, my passion has never changed. I love working with children.”
At Alma College, where Bryan majored in elementary education, that passion grew by leaps and bounds—and thousands of miles. Through a Posey Global Fellowship, she was able to teach overseas during her sophomore year.
“I traveled to India, where I realized that I had a love for international teaching,” she says. “The experience really opened my eyes. I had the opportunity to lead, to grow closer to my faith and to form a support group that I still have today. I love Alma, and I feel so blessed and thankful for my rich experiences there.”
Once she graduated from Alma, Bryan began searching for ways to teach at a Christian international school. She found a website geared toward mission teaching and contacted several schools but initially had little luck.
“None of the schools seemed right for me until I connected with someone from Kigali International Community School (KICS),” she says. “I had an interview within five days, and a week and a half later, I was in Rwanda!”
Bryan, who met her husband in Rwanda, is now in her second year teaching first grade at KICS. She says teaching at the school has strengthened not only her faith, but also her aptitude as a teacher.
“Teaching in Rwanda is challenging because I am the only first-grade teacher in my school, but I’m so thankful that I get to interact every day with kids from seven different countries,” she says. “My husband and I are constantly learning about new cultures.”