Cary, Ill., resident begins Peace Corps service in Zambia

Cody Mitchell Heche, 23, of Cary, Ill., has been accepted into the Peace Corps and will depart for Zambia Feb. 3 to begin training as an agriculture volunteer. Heche will live and work at the community level to make a difference by helping local farmers successfully build and manage fishponds as a way to increase their incomes.

Heche is the son of Bill and Kim Heche and a graduate of Cary-Grove High School in Cary, Ill. He graduated from Augustana College in Rock Island, Ill., where he earned his degree in sociology, art, and African studies.

“My degree from Augustana taught me about human interaction and relationships, which will help me during my Peace Corps service,” Heche said. Continue reading “Cary, Ill., resident begins Peace Corps service in Zambia”

Marengo, Ill., resident begins Peace Corps service in South Africa

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Cassandra Jean Lawlor, 27, of Marengo, Ill., has been accepted into the Peace Corps and will depart for South Africa July 2 to begin training as an education volunteer. Lawlor will make a difference teaching English to schoolchildren in South Africa.

“I’m excited to serve others and teach in South Africa,” Lawlor said.

Lawlor is the daughter of Patrick and Patricia Lawlor and a 2004 graduate of Marian Central Catholic High School in Woodstock, Ill. She earned a bachelor’s degree from Augustana College in Rock Island, Ill., in 2008 and a master’s degree in ceramics in 2012 from Bradley University in Peoria, Ill. While studying at Augustana, Lawlor began to seriously consider Peace Corps service. Continue reading “Marengo, Ill., resident begins Peace Corps service in South Africa”

Midwestern volunteers among first back in Nepal after Peace Corps restarts program

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Tia Sandoval, of Kansas City, Mo., is among the first Peace Corps Volunteers to serve in Nepal after an eight-year absence.

After an eight-year absence, Peace Corps has restarted its program in Nepal, and Kansas City, Mo., resident Tia Sandoval is among the first volunteers to be sworn in and assigned to a local community there. When she initially received her invitation to serve, Sandoval says, she didn’t appreciate how the return of Peace Corps made a difference to the people of Nepal.

“Now, having gone through my pre-service training, I have learned a lot about our assignment and how important it is for Peace Corps to return, but also how important it is for Nepal to have a group serving to improve the lives of the people here,” she said.

Sandoval, 23, is among 20 agriculture and nutrition volunteers who arrived in Nepal to begin training in September. As a food security volunteer, she will teach rural and poor families about household nutrition, hygiene, and sanitation, in addition to offering lessons on how food preservation can be used for income generation. Continue reading “Midwestern volunteers among first back in Nepal after Peace Corps restarts program”