All Stories

Carthage music alum Maren Schutz ’15 took a big leap after graduation, moving to Fianarantsoa, Madagascar.

Maren is a volunteer in the ELCA Young Adults in Global Mission (YAGM) program. She volunteers and teaches English at several different site placements in Fianar. She works at SeMaFi, a school for deaf children; Lycee Loterana Masombahoaka, a Lutheran primary and secondary school; and University Lutheran Institute of Management Entrepreneurship (LIME). She also works with a weekly community English Club.

“I use a lot of music to teach English,” Maren says. “You rarely see me here without my ukulele. My students’ favorite songs include the ‘Good Morning’ song, a song I learned in Prof. Dennee’s Global Music class.”

She has learned a lot from her experience in Madagascar, she says. A favorite moment was when her university students translated the Malagasy version of “Silent Night” (which is “Alina Masina”) into English for her. “I thought of Carthage Christmas Fest every time we sang it this Christmas,” she says.

Maren credits her Carthage experiences with preparing her for this journey.

“I probably would not have applied to YAGM if I hadn’t had such transformative J-Term experiences. Traveling with Carthage sparked my curiosity to learn more about our global brothers and sisters. After almost six whole months here, my perspectives on wealth, power, privilege, and race have changed dynamically, as well as my interpretation of ‘global church.’ I’m so glad Carthage first opened the door for me.”