Early Childhood Education

Kelsey Merz

My hometown when I was a student was

Clarkston, MI

I graduated in

2011

I studied

Elementary Education with an Early Childhood Endorsement

I currently live in

Kigali, Rwanda

I am now

a kindergarten teacher

Since graduating from Alma

After student teaching I moved to Kigali, Rwanda with plans to spend one year teaching kindergarten at Kigali International Community School (KICS). I’m currently finishing up my fourth year and have signed on for two more. God has other plans than the ones I made in 2012.

KICS is an international school that serves missionary families as well as local and other international students. It has been an incredible journey over the past four years serving as a missionary teacher in Africa. It has come with many challenges of raising support, missing loved ones and special events, and live with limited resources. However, for every challenge I have found the joys of life outweigh any struggle. I have the honor of teaching kindergarteners about Jesus, I get to discover and learn new things about this culture on a daily basis, and I wake up to beautiful views and 80 degree days.

My Alma education

had a big impact on here I am today. I grew so much both in my faith and in my passion for serving while at Alma. I participated in several alternative break trips and my passion for serving and specifically for serving in ministry grew after each trip. I’m thrilled to be serving in ministry for my career as a missionary educator now. Teaching at KICS means I’m able to be a part of a school that provides education for missionaries, making it possible for them to live and serve in Rwanda. Without KICS, those missionary families wouldn’t be able to be there with their children. 

My favorite place(s) on campus included

the chapel, both for chapel and for daily choir rehearsals. 

My favorite professors(s) included

Dr. Thelen and Doc Nichols and I’m THRILLED that I’ve been able to connect with Dr. Thelen to bring some current EDC students over here for spring terms at KICS! 

My most vivid/best memory of my time at Alma is

my time in the Alma Choir and Pretty in Plaid a capella group as well as random nights where fun was made with my friends! 

What I've been doing with music since I graduated:

Music was a big part of my life at Alma. I spent three years singing in the Alma Choir and in Pretty in Plaid. I loved every minute of it! I now sing with my students daily and love being able to use music as I teach.

My off-campus study experience(s) included

Spring Term on the trip to Peru with Dr. Seals. That trip had a big impact on me and started a thirst for world travel. The following summer, I studied abroad in Ecuador and Peru again and received Spanish credit. These trips really kick-started a passion and understanding for developing countries.