Meet Your Peace Corps Recruiter: Flora Tano

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Name: Flora Tano
Country of Service: China, 2013-15
Assignment:  Teaching English as a Foreign Language
Recruitment Territory: Chicagoland

When you applied where you did hope to go or hoped to do?
I had no particular preference; however, I assumed that being a native French speaker and from the Ivory Coast would automatically destine me for an African country.  I was wrong. Peace Corps had something else for me. Continue reading “Meet Your Peace Corps Recruiter: Flora Tano”

Crystal Lake, Ill., resident begins Peace Corps service in Ukraine

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Kathrina Konfirst, 28, of Crystal Lake, Ill., has been accepted into the Peace Corps and will depart for Ukraine Sept. 16 to begin training as an English education volunteer. Konfirst, who will be serving with her husband, Matt, will make a difference teaching conversational and content-based English to middle- and high-school students.

“I was attracted to the idea of promoting cross-cultural awareness, acceptance and collaboration, as well as learning about another language and culture through complete immersion,” Konfirst said.

Konfirst is the daughter of Robert and Margarete Rainault of Crystal Lake and a graduate of Crystal Lake Central High School. She graduated from Northern Illinois University in DeKalb with a bachelor’s degree in German Language and Literature in 2008. She previously taught high school German, French, and Spanish in District 155 in McHenry County, Illinois. Continue reading “Crystal Lake, Ill., resident begins Peace Corps service in Ukraine”

West Chicago, Ill., resident begins Peace Corps service in Ukraine

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West Chicago resident Matthew Konfirst has lived a lot of life in his 36 years. He graduated from the Berklee College of Music and researched climate change in Antarctica, first as a graduate student at Northern Illinois University, then as a postdoctoral researcher at Byrd Polar Research Center, Ohio State University. He organized fossils as a volunteer at the Field Museum in Chicago, and he worked as an 1890s farmer at a living history farm in West Chicago. For a time he was a professional musician, and his music is available on iTunes.

Now, a new adventure – and opportunity to make a difference – awaits. Konfirst has been accepted into the Peace Corps and will depart for Ukraine on Sept. 16 to begin training as an education volunteer. Konfirst will live and work in a community teaching conversational and content-based English to middle- and high-schoolers, as well as helping to train local teachers.

“The attraction of the Peace Corps is being immersed in a new culture and language, being taken out of our comfort zone, and being able to give back to the community that is hosting our experience,” Konfirst said. “At the same time we get to act as ambassadors for the United States and put a face on the people that our host country citizens may never have met in person.” Continue reading “West Chicago, Ill., resident begins Peace Corps service in Ukraine”