Peace Corps service sharpened career path for Kentucky State grad student

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When Ben Bowman begins searching for jobs next year, after earning his master’s degree from Kentucky State University, he knows that there is one experience on his résumé that will make him stand out in the applicant pool: his Peace Corps service.

Bowman, who is currently studying aquaculture at KSU, served as rural aquaculture promotion Peace Corps volunteer in Zambia from 2012-14. Bowman taught his community the benefits of managing fish ponds, vs. fishing from lakes and rivers, and the hands-on experience set the foundation for his higher education and career. In addition to working with the fish ponds, Bowman collected and planted 5,000 seeds for trees that support income generation, food and reforestation. Continue reading “Peace Corps service sharpened career path for Kentucky State grad student”

More University of Louisville students are choosing post-college service with Peace Corps

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Returned Peace Corps Volunteer Ben Bowman served in Zambia, 2012-14.

When he was a student at the University of Louisville, Ben Bowman worked alongside professors and graduate students in a biology lab. Looking back years later, he says the experience not only taught him about science, but also put him on a path toward making a difference as a Peace Corps Volunteer.

“I spent a lot of time trying to come up with a project to hopefully publish one day. From this I developed a much different way of thinking about problems and how to go about solving them,”  said Bowman, who served as a rural aquaculture promotion volunteer in Zambia, from 2012 to 2014. “Now when I face challenges, Peace Corps has allowed me to develop my own ways of going about finding a solution.”

Bowman, who graduated from the University of Louisville in 2011 with a double major in biology and psychology, is one of 217 alums who have served as Peace Corps volunteers since the agency was created in 1961.  Continue reading “More University of Louisville students are choosing post-college service with Peace Corps”

Angela Hamilton – Kentucky & Southern Indiana

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Name: Angela Hamilton
Country of Service: Dominican Republic, 2006-2009
Peace Corps Response: Guatemala, 2013-2014
Recruitment Territory: Kentucky, Southern Indiana Continue reading “Angela Hamilton – Kentucky & Southern Indiana”

Kentucky native hopes to become effective leader as Peace Corps volunteer in Cambodia

Christy Eubank with her parents, Johnny and Sherree Eubank.
Christy Eubank with her parents, Johnny and Sherree Eubank.

Christy Eubank, 25, of Gamaliel, Ky., has been accepted into the Peace Corps and will depart for Cambodia July 24 to begin training as an English teacher and teacher trainer volunteer.  Eubank will live and work at the community level co-teaching basic and intermediate English. She will also lead extracurricular activities to enhance language learning.

“Joining the Peace Corps is something I’ve wanted to do for a very long time,” Eubank said. “I love to travel and I have a lot of interest in learning about other cultures.” Continue reading “Kentucky native hopes to become effective leader as Peace Corps volunteer in Cambodia”

University of Louisville Peace Corps volunteer is embracing culture, with an eye toward the future, in China

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Peace Corps Volunteer Jason McConnell (standing, second from right, in sunglasses) visits Lijiang, China, home of the famous Tiger Leaping Gorge, with other volunteers.

Jason McConnell, 27, of Louisville, Ky., has been serving as a Peace Corps volunteer in China since June 2012. In this essay, the University of Louisville alum offers a first-person glimpse at teaching English in China and his plans and goals for the future.

The sense of wonder that comes with arriving in your Peace Corps country and becoming acquainted with a new culture is only heightened for volunteers who, like me, had never traveled outside of the U.S. before service. I remember that first foreign experience well. My group of trainees and I had a layover in Bangkok on our way to the Peace Corps China headquarters in Chengdu, Sichuan. After we registered with the swanky hotel a small group of us decided to get something to eat on the streets. However, I was nervous because nobody in our group knew how to speak the local language; surely we would go hungry for the night! My uneasy disposition also saw the dark streets as being more sinister than they really were.

Fortunately, some of the people in my dinner group were acclimated to conducting themselves in foreign environments, and we found a little food stand off the edge of the street and ate something that I only remember being unnaturally spicy yet delicious. As I continued eating, the majority of my concerns melted away and the walk back to the hotel was far different: I had learned what I felt was a crucial lesson about language, culture and greasy chicken. I wanted more of those experiences. Continue reading “University of Louisville Peace Corps volunteer is embracing culture, with an eye toward the future, in China”

Volunteer project spotlight: Just for kicks, Kentucky volunteer teaches karate

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Peace Corps Volunteer Tyler Lloyd, of Owensboro, Ky., is keeping kids active with a unique secondary project in his community in Burkina Faso: karate lessons. When Lloyd isn’t working with a women’s rice processing union as an agribusiness development volunteer, he’s able to exercise one of his personal hobbies and teach boys and girls ages 12 to 18 a new skill at the same time. “I work health, nutrition, gender equality, and personal development aspects into my class,” Lloyd says. “My students will be testing for their yellow belt in the next few weeks.” Continue reading “Volunteer project spotlight: Just for kicks, Kentucky volunteer teaches karate”

Louisville resident begins Peace Corps service in Jamaica

DickensBrittany_JamaicaBrittany Dickens, 23, of Louisville, Ky., has been accepted into the Peace Corps and will depart for Jamaica March 11 to begin training as an agro-forestry volunteer. Dickens will make a difference by promoting and participating in natural resource management.

Dickens decided to serve in the Peace Corps during her last semester of college.

“I’ve never travelled outside the U.S., and I have a big thirst for adventure,” she said. “Other cultures have always fascinated me, and I fell in love with idea of fulfilling these desires as well as promoting world peace and friendship by serving as a Peace Corps volunteer.” Continue reading “Louisville resident begins Peace Corps service in Jamaica”