University of Wisconsin – Madison leads Volunteers to Peace Corps Agriculture

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Rita Argus (center) recently completed her service as an agriculture volunteer in Senegal.

Joining the Peace Corps was a natural next step for Rita Argus and Daniel Stevenson after they earned their degrees from the University of Wisconsin – Madison. Whether it was through study abroad programs or in-the-field agriculture experiences, the students found their inspiration through different facets within the institution.

But their Wisconsin values were a constant.

“Classroom wise, professors often talked about ‘The Wisconsin Idea’ – the thought that what we are learning in the classroom should be applicable to real world situations,” Argus said. “I think this has conditioned me to better apply what I learned to help with problems and challenges I am encountering here.” Continue reading “University of Wisconsin – Madison leads Volunteers to Peace Corps Agriculture”

Creating healthy homes: Illinois native inspires families in Peru to adopt healthy behaviors

KHanson PC4When Kate Hanson, a Peace Corps Volunteer in Peru, began planning her Healthy Homes project, meant to improve general health throughout her community, she anticipated participation from the families to wane throughout its eight-week duration. Other volunteers who had done similar projects told her many families lose motivation after a few weeks, with sometimes less than half completing the program.

However, Kate started with 54 families and ended with 54 families.

“When I look back on my service, the Healthy Homes project is definitely the project I am most proud of,” said Hanson, 25. “I think it speaks to the incredible team I was working with and the families themselves.” Continue reading “Creating healthy homes: Illinois native inspires families in Peru to adopt healthy behaviors”

The journey home: Indiana retiree returns to Peace Corps 37 years later

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Lynne Newlon launched her career as a Peace Corps volunteer in Swaziland when she was 21. After retiring thirty-seven years later, Newlon is returning to the Peace Corps and will serve in a South African community less than two hours from where she served in 1979.

At her retirement party, Lynne Newlon thought she was saying goodbye to her 30-year career in public service. For her, retirement meant more time at home with family and friends and finally tackling the stubborn home projects she had put off for years.

But plans change. Less than a year after retiring, the Indiana native will depart for South Africa on May 7 to serve in the Peace Corps – for the second time– and she couldn’t be more excited. Continue reading “The journey home: Indiana retiree returns to Peace Corps 37 years later”

University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point earns a spot on Peace Corps’ annual Top Schools list

Aaron Ross (center) is an XX graduate of the University of Wisconsin - Stevens Point. He is currently serving as an XX volunteer in XX.
Aaron Ross (center) is a May 2011 graduate of the University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point. He is currently serving as a food security volunteer in Nepal.

CHICAGO – The University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point has earned a spot on the Peace Corps’ annual Top Colleges list, ranking No. 14 among medium-sized universities, the agency announced today. Currently, there are 16 alumni serving overseas as Peace Corps volunteers.

This is the first year that college has made the annual list of top volunteer-producing colleges and universities. Since the agency was created in 1961, 434 alums have served in Peace Corps.

“The Peace Corps is a unique opportunity for college graduates to put their education into practice and become agents of change in communities around the world,” Peace Corps Director Carrie Hessler-Radelet said. “Today’s graduates understand the importance of intercultural understanding and are raising their hands in record numbers to take on the challenge of international service.” Continue reading “University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point earns a spot on Peace Corps’ annual Top Schools list”

David Goodloe served as an environment volunteer in Benin from 2004-05.

Facing challenges in Africa, volunteer embraced opportunity to be more conscious of his identity

David Goodloe served as an environment volunteer in Benin from 2004-05.
David Goodloe served as an environment volunteer in Benin from 2004-05.

As an African-American Peace Corps volunteer, David Goodloe had a lot of superficial notions about what going to Africa for the first time would mean. He imagined a vivid Hollywood-like scene: walking off the plane and being greeted with “Welcome home,” or “It’s so good to have you back.”

But upon arriving in Benin, Africa for his Peace Corps service, he quickly realized that the romanticized vision was not reality. Perhaps the hardest lesson Goodloe had to learn was that he didn’t fit in just because he shared the same skin tone as others in his village.   Continue reading “Facing challenges in Africa, volunteer embraced opportunity to be more conscious of his identity”

College sweethearts depart for Peace Corps Zambia

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Madeline Haupert and Chaz Parker-Alof met as students at the University of San Francisco in an environmental studies class their sophomore year. Throughout the years, their relationship blossomed through the highs and lows of any college relationship. But on Feb. 8 Madeline will face one of the biggest challenges of her life: departing for Peace Corps Zambia with her boyfriend Chaz.

“Serving as a couple in the Peace Corps will likely bring both incredible building experiences as well as a multitude of hardships,” said Madeline. “I feel as though Chaz and I will benefit from having one another to process things with and I look forward to growing as a couple through shared experiences and then bringing those experiences back to the U.S. after service. Having undergone our service together, I suspect we will understand one another on a deeper level.” Continue reading “College sweethearts depart for Peace Corps Zambia”

Marshallville, Ohio native begins Peace Corps service in Zambia

mcendreJeff McEndree, 25, of Marshallville, Ohio, has been accepted into the Peace Corps and will depart for Zambia on Feb. 8 to begin training as a rural aquaculture promotion volunteer. McEndree will live at the community level to build and manage fish ponds to increase production and income. He will also train farmers on site selection processes, pond construction and harvesting and management practices. He will also assist farmers on marketing, record keeping and planning skills to better run their businesses.

“When I received my invitation, it kind of just blew me away,” McEndree said. “I was extremely excited. I think I re-read the invitation email three or four times to confirm I was actually invited. It was an incredible experience.” Continue reading “Marshallville, Ohio native begins Peace Corps service in Zambia”