In addition to their work at Project 17, executives Audrey Wang (Academic Director) and Sydney Chang (Operations Director) have also engaged in cross-cultural communication through Interverse Education, a 501(c)(3) NPO dedicated to breaking language barriers and connecting people around the world by teaching English as a second language (ESL).
From left to right: Audrey Wang, Sydney Chang, and the Interverse Bay Area logo / Courtesy of Thea Louise Dai and Interverse
Audrey Wang currently serves as the Chief Operations Officer at Interverse, where she oversees the chapter system, implements solutions for operational issues, and facilitates communication between students and tutors. She works closely with Sydney Chang, Interverse’s Bay Area Regional Director, to bring tutoring and curriculum design opportunities to students in Northern California.
Audrey first learned about Interverse during the 2020 pandemic, when the standstill of study abroad programs and traditional in-person interactions impeded her passion for connecting with people from different cultures. “I was really excited for the chance to meet and connect with other people,” Audrey said, “especially because opportunities like that were really limited.”
She enrolled as a tutor and quickly began to host weekly English sessions with two ten-year old students from Sichuan, China. She explained that “both my students had never had access to English teachers who were native speakers before. Sometimes, when they would take their lessons at the park, there were groups of students crowding around the screen, so curious about who the person speaking the strange language was.”
In 2021, Sydney also joined Interverse as part of its curriculum design team. Her reasoning was two-fold: “I wanted to help other people around the world,” Sydney said, “while simultaneously improving my own language skills.”
Audrey teaches her student English by drawing on a Zoom whiteboard / Courtesy of Audrey Wang
According to Audrey, the best part of her role at Interverse is watching “different, cross-country connections being formed.” She said, “Just the process of forming that bond over such a big physical distance is very fulfilling to see. I’m really glad that I have the opportunity to participate in a similar experience through Project 17.”