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SOLD Volunteer Featured in Local Paper

March 7, 2011

Media / Press

SOLD’s first long-term volunteer, Deirdre Flynn, was recently featured in a Telegraph Neighbors article about her time in Thailand.  Below is just an excerpt.  Click on the link to read the full article.

Published: Thursday, March 3, 2011
By SAMANTHA ARROYO Correspondent


Deirdre Flynn and her “Level 3” class (about 13 and older)

Flynn, a former actress from New York City, was at a crossroads in her life when she received an e-mail from [SOLD founder] Rachel Sparks-Graeser, requesting her assistance. Although her feet were wet in corporate America, the typical 9-to-5 job didn’t fit such a vibrant and active individual.

“It was a really beautiful opportunity,” Flynn said. So, she uprooted from the Big Apple and relocated to Thailand – more than 8,000 miles away. Besides adjusting to the spicy food, the lizards running through her home and sleeping beneath bug netting, Flynn said the biggest challenge was learning to speak the language and grappling with the distance between family and friends.

But her success far outweighed those difficulties. On a weekly basis, Flynn had more than 100 children voluntarily show up for her English classes, which were designed to help open more doors for at-risk children. Their youngest student is 6, and the oldest is applying for college.

“In terms of putting a face on the relationship with the kids, it’s the story of Cat,” Flynn said. “She wanted to succeed against a lot of odds, and she did. Because of who she is and what she inspired, Cat is in the school and not being exploited.”

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