From campus ambassador to Peace Corps Volunteer

higbee3

Amanda Higbee always knew that she wanted to join the Peace Corps after college. As a communications major at Trine University, Higbee was inspired by the first-hand testimonials of returned Peace Corps Volunteers. So when an internship opportunity with the Peace Corps became available on campus, she leaped at the chance to inspire the next generation of Volunteers.

“When I saw information about the campus ambassador program on Twitter it was a relatively new program,” Higbee said. “I knew that the Peace Corps was something I was very interested in, and I thought the program would be a good way to learn more about Peace Corps service as well as get to know some recruiters and returned Volunteers.” Continue reading “From campus ambassador to Peace Corps Volunteer”

Celebrating and sharing history and cultures – Peace Corps volunteer finds passion through service in Malawi

kollie2

When Nyassa Kollie’s father thinks about his childhood and the hurdles he overcame in pursuit of his education, he replays the voices of encouragement telling him that he could do anything, even earn a doctorate in chemistry. Similarly, when Kollie’s mother faced obstacles growing up, it was the voices of hope that prevailed and lifted her up, reminding her that her education mattered.

Those voices her parents heard belonged to Peace Corps volunteers.

Kollie, now a Peace Corps volunteer in Malawi, wouldn’t fully grasp the motivation that fueled her father’s passion for education, or of the love her mother had for the volunteers who defined her youth until years later. Continue reading “Celebrating and sharing history and cultures – Peace Corps volunteer finds passion through service in Malawi”

Clarksville, Tennessee, Resident Begins Peace Corps Service in Colombia

mahoney_colombiaKellie Mahoney, 26, of Clarksville, Tennessee, has been accepted into the Peace Corps and will depart for Colombia on January 17 to begin training as a primary education teacher trainer. Mahoney will work at the community level to help train and develop teachers’ English-teaching skills. She will also create resources for the classroom, facilitate staff professional development opportunities, and co-teach lessons.

“I’ve had an interest in serving with the Peace Corps for the last few years,” Mahoney said. “After serving with AmeriCorps, I dove into more opportunities that have shaped my life where it is today. My passion for teaching has motivated me to want to serve in communities around the world. I’m attracted to the Peace Corps because I want to be challenged and reach out to students and communities.” Continue reading “Clarksville, Tennessee, Resident Begins Peace Corps Service in Colombia”

25 countries later, Indiana couple commits to Peace Corps service in Thailand

img_8285

Sara and Greg’s life is always in constant motion.

From volunteering with nonprofits in Malawi, to working for Teach For America for two years, the couple’s robust lifestyle allows them to peer into the living conditions that many face across the globe. In the past three years alone, they have traveled to 25 countries and over six different continents.

But with each trip and stamp they collect on their passports, they crave to do something more with their lives. This January, the couple will do just that.

As Peace Corps Volunteers in Thailand, the couple will spend the next 27 months using their experiences and skills to make an impact on their local community. Sara will work as a youth in development Volunteer, where she will improve the lifestyles of local youth, and Greg will work as a teacher collaborator and primary education specialist, where he will engage in community development opportunities, improve schools, and train local teachers. This will be Greg’s second time serving as a Peace Corps Volunteer; he served as a youth development Volunteer in Bulgaria from 2008-10. Continue reading “25 countries later, Indiana couple commits to Peace Corps service in Thailand”

Minnesota Ranks Among Peace Corps’ Top Volunteer-Producing States in 2016

screen-s

Today, Peace Corps announced that the Twin Cities region, which includes Minneapolis, St. Paul and Bloomington, ranks No. 5 among the top metropolitan areas with the highest number of Peace Corps volunteers. The state of Minnesota also ranks No. 5 among states with the highest number of Peace Corps volunteers per 100,000 residents. There are 180 volunteers from the Twin Cities and 232 volunteers from Minnesota currently serving worldwide. Since the agency’s founding in 1961, 6,753 Minnesotans have served in the Peace Corps.

“During my time leading the Peace Corps, I have seen the tremendous impact that volunteers have when they share their unique hometown perspectives with the communities they serve,” said Director Carrie Hessler-Radelet. “Volunteers represent our nation’s rich diversity by coming from all corners of the U.S. They are able to share our nation’s rich cultural heritage with communities around the world, leaving a legacy of peace and friendship that is timeless.”

This is the fourth straight year Minnesota has ranked among the top 10 states with the highest number of Peace Corps volunteers per 100,000 residents. The Twin Cities have consistently ranked among the top 10 metropolitan areas, and this year marks the region’s first appearance among the top five. Minnesota and the Twin Cities region have been rising in the ranks for the past three years. Volunteers from the Land of 10,000 Lakes are among the more than 225,000 Americans who have served around the world as agriculture, community economic development, education, environment, health and youth in development volunteers since 1961.  Continue reading “Minnesota Ranks Among Peace Corps’ Top Volunteer-Producing States in 2016”

Illinois State University Campus Recruiter Overcomes Adversities to Serve in the Peace Corps

1488107_10103208659188080_518829680_n

Joining the Peace Corps wasn’t the easiest decision Vanessa Soto ever made, but it was the right one.

After emigrating to the U.S. from Mexico and forging a new life for their family, Soto’s parents wanted more for their children. Passing up a salary job after graduation to travel the world did not seem like the most lucrative option to her family.

But they were wrong.

“It felt like my family had taken a step forward and I would be taking two steps back,” Soto said. “But after explaining the benefits of serving: gaining experience and the opportunity to see a part of the world that is mostly unknown to my local community – they started to accept that it was my calling.” Continue reading “Illinois State University Campus Recruiter Overcomes Adversities to Serve in the Peace Corps”

On-Campus Recruiters Unite To Bring Peace Corps To Michigan State

img-3-copy
Emily Weiss is one of the two on-campus Peace Corps recruiters at Michigan State University.

While serving in the Peace Corps, Emily Weiss didn’t have a road map to success or a list tasks to mark off her check list each day. She didn’t have a “How-to Manual” on becoming a Peace Corps Volunteer.

All Emily had was her passion and 27 months to make a lasting impact on her community in Guinea.

Two years removed from her Peace Corps service, Weiss is now one of the two on-campus Peace Corps recruiters at Michigan State University, where the Michigan resident obtained her bachelor’s degree in physiology in 2013. Continue reading “On-Campus Recruiters Unite To Bring Peace Corps To Michigan State”