Jacob Dowser, 23, of Nashville, Tennessee, has been accepted into the Peace Corps and will depart for Ukraine on March 13 to begin training as a youth in development volunteer. Dowser will work in secondary institutions, sports departments, and rehabilitation centers to provide Ukrainian youth from underserved communities with knowledge and skills to integrate into a global community and live healthy, meaningful lives.
“I have always had compassion for those who are in need,” said Dowser. “I have wanted to see other parts of the world as well. The Peace Corps will allow me to do both. It will also allow me to continue the Peace Corps’ longstanding tradition of facilitating lasting impact and growth throughout the international community. We all share a common humanity, which the Peace Corps understands and graciously invites others to partake in.”
Dowser is a graduate of Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in sociology in May 2015. “My time spent in college enhanced my understanding of an interconnected humanness and consciousness. The liberal arts department prepared me to challenge systems of power, hold those in power accountable, and to dispute the status quo,” said Dowser. “College gave me a view that just because you’ve been given less or were born in a different zip code, does not mean you should be delegated to a second class status. We are all human.”
During his first three months of service, Dowser will live with a host family in Ukraine to become fully immersed in the country’s language and culture. After acquiring the necessary skills to assist his community, he will be sworn into service and be assigned to a community in Ukraine, where he will live and work for two years with the local people.
Dowser joins the 90 Tennessee residents currently serving in the Peace Corps. More than 1,844 Tennessee residents have served as volunteers since the agency was created in 1961.
About Peace Corps/Ukraine: There are more than 210 volunteers in Ukraine working with their communities on projects in youth development, education, and community economic development. During their service in Ukraine, volunteers learn to speak Russian and Ukrainian. More than 3,005 Peace Corps volunteers have served in Ukraine since the program was established in 1992.