Canton, Ill., native begins Peace Corps service in Malawi

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Amber Furness, 25, of Canton, Ill., has been accepted into the Peace Corps and will depart for Malawi March 2 to begin training as a natural resource management extension volunteer. Furness will live and work at the community level outside of a national park or forest reserve to improve use of local natural resources through forestry management and promoting better food security with soil and water management. Her possible projects include establishing and managing fruit trees, educating community members on improved cook stoves and encouraging composting, mulching, agroforestry, conservation agriculture, small scale irrigation and permaculture.

“I am excited to learn about new cultures and advance my knowledge of environmental management in a service-oriented position,” Furness said. “Connecting with the people of Malawi will mean new friendships and perspectives that I can share in the U.S. I know that this will be a unique, life-changing experience that I will always cherish.” Continue reading “Canton, Ill., native begins Peace Corps service in Malawi”

Strong belief in public service led South Dakota resident to Peace Corps service in Tanzania

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Dennis “DJ” Smith, 22, of Mitchell, S.D., has been accepted into the Peace Corps and will depart for Tanzania Feb. 8 to begin training as a health education volunteer. Smith will live and work at the community level to make a difference building the capacity of primary school teachers, students, out-of-school youth, community groups and health service providers to understand and promote health in their communities. In addition, he will help raise awareness about primary health care and other related health issues, particularly HIV/AIDS.

“I joined the Peace Corps because of my strong beliefs in public service and passion for helping others,” Smith said. “I hope to be able to make a difference and be able to not only teach, but to learn from a different culture and group of people.” Continue reading “Strong belief in public service led South Dakota resident to Peace Corps service in Tanzania”

Meet your Peace Corps Central Recruiter: Brian Green

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Name: Brian Green
Country of Service: Costa Rica, 2003-05
Assignment: Rural Community Development
Recruitment Territory: Minnesota, South Dakota

Why were you interested in serving?
I’ve always had a volunteering spirit. After studying abroad in Mexico, I developed a love for international travel as well. Once I learned that Peace Corps combined these two passions I was hooked.

What did you enjoy most about your country of service?
I was very close with my host family during the three months of training; they treated me like one of their own. It was a house filled with lots of love, food and jokes. Even after I moved away to officially start my two years of service, I often returned to visit them. My American family came to visit during my service, and I took them to meet my Costa Rican family. While my American family spoke no Spanish, it was obvious to them that I was in good hands.

Continue reading “Meet your Peace Corps Central Recruiter: Brian Green”

Wakonda, S.D., resident begins Peace Corps service in Kosovo

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Anna Lena Wonnenberg of Wakonda, S.D., has been accepted into the Peace Corps and will depart for Kosovo June 6 to begin training as an English education volunteer. Wonnenberg will be among the first group of Peace Corps volunteers to serve in Kosovo, and she will live and work at the community level to make a difference by teaching English as a second language to secondary school students.

“I care about people, and I desire to make the most of my life,” Wonnenberg, 25, said. “The Peace Corps offers the opportunity to be completely immersed in another culture and to serve poorer communities around the world and your own country in an amazing way.” Continue reading “Wakonda, S.D., resident begins Peace Corps service in Kosovo”

Sioux Falls, S.D., resident begins Peace Corps service in Kenya

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Megan Robertson, 30, of Sioux Falls, S.D., has been accepted into the Peace Corps and will depart for Kenya June 5 to begin training as a public health education volunteer. Robertson will make a difference educating community members about HIV/AIDS prevention and care while promoting healthy living and hygiene.

Robertson is the daughter of John and Carol Robertson and a 2001 graduate of TF Riggs High School in Pierre, S.D. She graduated from the University of South Dakota in Vermillion with a bachelor’s degree in anthropology in 2008. Since college, Robertson has worked as an archaeology technician in central South Dakota, North Dakota, Montana, Wyoming, and Idaho. She has also held jobs ranging from camp cook to bartender to mink rancher. Continue reading “Sioux Falls, S.D., resident begins Peace Corps service in Kenya”