We talk a lot about barriers to postsecondary education at The Chatfield Edge. That’s because we’ve experienced the impact of these barriers on students first-hand. Before launching The Chatfield Edge,…Read More
Volunteer Spotlight: Amber Saeidi Asl
Amber grew up in St. Martin, Ohio, in the shadows of Chatfield’s Brown County campus. As a child, she loved riding her bike along the campus’ tree-lined paths and served regularly at 5 pm Saturday Mass at Sacred Heart Chapel.
Her mom went back to school in her 30’s, enrolling in a photography class at Chatfield College. This one class let to pursuing her goal of becoming a teacher. When Amber learned that Chatfield College had a post-secondary program for high school students, she enrolled immediately and attended full-time for two years. Like her mom, she dreamed of one day becoming a teacher.
After graduating from Fayetteville High School, Amber transferred her credits to Miami University (Oxford) and decided to do her student teaching on a U.S. Army base in Germany. “I loved the movie ‘The Sound of Music’ and always wanted to live in Europe,” she said.
After completing her required semester of student teaching, Amber returned to the United States but knew she wanted to teach again overseas one day. At that time, the Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) required two years of teaching experience for its teachers, so she worked for two years as a teacher at Eastern High School in Winchester. She then taught ESL in Korea for a year, followed by four years of teaching high school juniors and seniors at South Hills Career and Technical Center in Georgetown, Ohio.
“I loved the students and could see that they were reaching their goals. Their results were tangible, and they knew they would get a degree,” Amber reflected.
More than qualified for a teaching position with the DoDEA, Amber set sail for Sicily where she taught drama and public speaking for three years, followed by 14 years at the U.S. Air Force Base, RAF Lakenheath, in England. It was in England that Amber met her now husband, Ali and where they eventually owned four restaurants, the last of which sold in 2019.
Amber and Ali had their first child in October 2019 and opened a food truck on the base in Lakenheath, which remained open throughout the Covid-19 pandemic. In 2022, Amber returned to the U.S. with her family and purchased a home just on the other side of the trees that border Chatfield’s campus.
Amber knew she wanted to be involved in the community while taking time to raise her young son. When a friend posted on Facebook that The Chatfield Edge was looking for mentors, it felt like a true homecoming.
“This is my first time serving as a mentor but having been a teacher, I’d like to think that I’ve had a positive influence on my students’ lives,” she said.
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