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SLU-Madrid Student Serves as Mentor, Teacher for a Hearing-Impaired Child

For two and a half years, Janee Mahan has been volunteering to teach English to Irene, a seven-year-old girl with a hearing impairment. Mahan, a senior at SLU-Madrid majoring in political science, has a busy schedule, yet she makes time for an organization she values from her time at SLU-Madrid: T-oigo.

Janee, Carlota and Irene

As a volunteer for T-oigo's Allies in English program, SLU-Madrid student Janee Mahan teaches English to Irene (far right), a seven-year-old girl with a hearing impairment. Mahan, Irene, and Irene's sister Carlota (center) pose for a photo as they celebrate Carlota's ninth birthday. 

T-oigo is a non-profit organization that serves the hearing impaired and their families. SLU-Madrid student volunteers take part in T-oigo’s Allies in English program, which connects young hearing-impaired children with native English teachers who serve as mentors,  encourage intercultural learning and create an approachable environment for language acquisition.

How does Mahan teach English to Irene? By doing “the typical things you would do with your siblings,” she says.  Mahan and Irene like to bake and play card games together, in particular.  

Mahan travels back and forth from Madrid to Pozuelo de Alarcón to teach Irene, a commute that takes nearly an hour each way. The commute is not an issue for Mahan.  “It’s a way of giving back to children by expanding their horizons in language learning,” she says.

Find out more about service opportunities for SLU-Madrid students (and faculty and staff) from Paloma Gómez de Salazar, campus minister and Student Life program assistant, at