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”

Meet Your Peace Corps Recruiter: Jason Lemberg

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“People join Peace Corps for many, many reasons. My reasoning for joining was really quite selfish. I was so turned to Peace Corps knowing it would allow me to experience the ups and downs of living in a foreign land, to learn a new language, and to really explore the caverns of my shifty mind.”
– July 8, 2006, Jason Lemberg, Peace Corps Blog

Name: Jason Lemberg
Country of Service: Kyrgyz Republic, 2006-08
Assignment: Secondary English Education
Recruitment Territory: Wisconsin Continue reading “Meet Your Peace Corps Recruiter: Jason Lemberg”

Wisconsin native completes Peace Corps service in the Philippines

Kelly Schmidt (left) completed her Peace Corps service in September of 2015. She is now back in the U.S. in her hometown in Fremont, Wis.
Kelly Schmidt (left) completed her Peace Corps service in September 2015. She is now back in the U.S. in her hometown in Fremont, Wis.

Kelly Schmidt can’t remember the exact moment that she knew she wanted to join the Peace Corps. It was always an idea, a lingering goal that was filed away in the back of her mind. Three months after the 26 year old completed her service in the Philippines, she reflects on how much her Peace Corps experience has helped her find her path.

“The Peace Corps was the perfect way, I discovered, for me to feed my growing passions for traveling, learning new things and volunteering to contribute to positive change within the world,” Schmidt said. Continue reading “Wisconsin native completes Peace Corps service in the Philippines”

West Bend, Wis., couple begins Peace Corps service in Tanzania

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Luke Schmelzer, 27, and Lucy Hatfield, 26, of West Bend, Wis., have been accepted into the Peace Corps and departed for Tanzania July 5 to begin training as secondary education volunteers. Hatfield will both live and work at the community level to teach general science, biology, chemistry, and physics, while Schmelzer will teach secondary English. They will work in under-resourced schools and within the community to address needs regarding HIV/AIDS, malaria, gender, food security and technology.

“I began looking into joining the Peace Corps four years ago with my boyfriend, now husband, as a next step after we finished our undergraduate studies,” Hatfield said. “We were both interested in travel, social justice, and not entering into the typical adult life – full-time job, kids, and buying a house – without gaining a wider worldview.

“We hope we will experience a different way of life and one that is not as focused on material possessions. We want to live in another culture and spend time enjoying the diversity of the world.”  Continue reading “West Bend, Wis., couple begins Peace Corps service in Tanzania”

Midwest Peace Corps volunteers participate in 150-mile journey to educate Ethiopians about HIV/AIDS

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For seven days, Margaret Wilder, of Berea, Ky., traveled 150 miles through Ethiopia to talk to locals about HIV/AIDS. To get from community to community, she ran.

Wilder was one of 20 Peace Corps volunteers in Ethiopia to participate in the 242-kilometer journey through the country’s Tigray region, beginning Sept. 12. The main of goal of the seven-day journey, called the Tigray Trek, was to educate community members about the causes, prevention and treatment of HIV/AIDS and raise money for continued awareness projects. Volunteers partnered with local organizations to lead nine educational sessions and empower youth to take action in their communities.

“Many of the communities have had endless HIV awareness efforts, but this was a different take on it,” said Kristen Craig, a Peace Corps volunteer who led sessions in communities along the route. “It was also important for the Peace Corps to make itself known in cities where volunteers may not be. The sessions not only focused on HIV awareness, but included helpful information for those who are affected by the virus.” Continue reading “Midwest Peace Corps volunteers participate in 150-mile journey to educate Ethiopians about HIV/AIDS”

Sturgeon Bay, Wis., resident begins Peace Corps service in Namibia

Guilette.Zachary_NamibiaZachary Guilette, 23, of Sturgeon Bay, Wis., has been accepted into the Peace Corps and will depart for Namibia July 21 to begin training as an education volunteer. Guilette will make a difference teaching general science, biology, chemistry, and physics to secondary students. In addition, he will integrate health and environmental education into the classroom and participate in other school and community activities.

“The core values and aspirations of world peace and friendship make up the foundation of my decision to serve with the Peace Corps,” Guilette said. “The Peace Corps will provide me with the opportunity to make a positive change in the world and to be part of a new culture and community.” Continue reading “Sturgeon Bay, Wis., resident begins Peace Corps service in Namibia”

Deerbrook, Wis., resident begins Peace Corps service in China

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Christopher James Yarie, 26, of Deerbrook, Wis., has been accepted into the Peace Corps and will depart for China June 27 to begin training as an education volunteer. Yarie will make a difference teaching English as a second language at a university.

“I was motivated to join the Peace Corps because I want to represent the best interests and wishes of my country overseas,” he said.

Yarie is the son of Paula and James Yarie and a 2005 graduate of Antigo High School in Antigo, Wis. He attended the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point and earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology in 2012. “My time at UWSP taught me how to adapt to new situations, work with new and diverse groups, and to be an effective communicator,” he said. Continue reading “Deerbrook, Wis., resident begins Peace Corps service in China”