Jackson Guilford is an Iowa native studying political science at the University of Iowa. Through the Friendship Community Project he has been given the privilege of assisting individuals from all over the world in acclimating to Iowa City, teaching them English, and making connections.
Jackson is a teaching assistant, Friendship Pal, and one-on-one tutor. Jackson loves seeing the work put into each student reflected in their understanding of English and watch their comfort level rise as they interact with the community. Through the FCP he has learned not only how to improve his skills as an English teacher but also how to become a better advocate, and a better supporter of those in his community who deserve it the most. Outside of the classroom he enjoys playing tennis, reading dystopian fiction, and arguing about politics with his dad.
George Sauerberg, a volunteer, is a teaching assistant, a Friendship Pal, and a participant in group conversations. He is a retired copy editor and newspaper writer who lives in Iowa City.
He worked for the Milwaukee Sentinel, the Iowa City Press-Citizen, the Gazette, and Pearson. At the Gazette, he won a national award and a state award for headline writing and received national honorable mention for a sports feature story. He was also a writing coach for high school students who contributed articles to the Gazette. In 1986, George wrote The Pack Fights Back, a book about the Green Bay Packers. His work at Pearson included editing questions and answer options for standardized tests. He earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in journalism from Northwestern University, and he taught a journalism course at Milwaukee Area Technical College in 1987.
“Friendship Community Project students are dedicated to improving their English,” George says. “We teach them about our language and culture but make the sessions fun, too. And I learn so much from them about their countries, languages, and cultures.”
Angie Hayes assisted the teachers in the Literacy class for the Friendship Community Project in 2018. In February 2019 she took over as lead teacher. Prior to teaching adults Angie was a teacher in the Iowa City School District for 41 years. She worked with kindergarten through sixth graders. She has a BA in Elementary Education, an MS in Science Education, and endorsements Reading and Gifted Education. She is also a choreographer, co-founder of Travelers Dance, and has taught dance to children and adults. Angie LOVES teaching her English students! She is in awe of their dedication to learning and has tremendous respect for the efforts they have made to come to this country. They have inspired her to become a better person and to do all she can to understand their challenges so she can help them become even more successful.
Susan Prepejchal, Founder and Director of Friendship Community Project, received her BA in anthropology and English and MA in English with a focus on TESOL at Northern Illinois University and has taught English/ ESL at Northern Illinois University, Madison Area Technical College, Cardinal Stritch College, Kirkwood Community College and Friendship Community Project. She loves learning languages as well as teaching English and is functional in Spanish, Italian and Mandarin Chinese and learned a little ASL, as well. She loves getting to know people from all over the world and sharing language, culture and recipes with them, and she finds that the students in this program continually renew her faith in humankind by showing time and again their friendliness, caring and kindness toward classmates and teachers of all nations, races and creeds and by demonstrating the ability of the human spirit to overcome even the most grave adversity. She feels honored to serve the immigrants and refugees of Iowa City through this program.