San Elizario, Texas, native begins Peace Corps service in Madagascar

Headshot Rodriguez

Edgar Rodriguez, 22, of San Elizario, Texas, has been accepted into the Peace Corps and will depart for Madagascar on June 25 to begin training as a secondary education English teacher as part of the community’s TEFL teaching program. Rodriguez will work at the community level to teach English at the high school and middle school level. He will also work with local English teachers to improve their English skills, share different teaching techniques, and develop new materials in the classroom.

“I previously applied to serve in Vanuatu and was momentarily being considered until being denied,” Rodriguez said. “Thereafter, I decided not to quit and gave it another try. My efforts weren’t in vain, and when I received my invitation to serve in Madagascar I was genuinely taken aback. I could not believe I was reading the words ‘you will join hundreds of thousands of Americans who have answered the call to service and made a difference in communities around the world.’” Continue reading “San Elizario, Texas, native begins Peace Corps service in Madagascar”

Evansville, Ind., resident begins Peace Corps service in Madagascar

Jacob Gibson, center, with  his mother, father, step mother and step father
Jacob Gibson, center, with his mother, father, step mother and step father

Jacob Gibson, 23, of Evansville, Ind., has been accepted into the Peace Corps and will depart for Madagascar June 8 to begin training as a secondary English education volunteer. Gibson will live and work at the community level to teach English as a foreign language and develop teaching materials and trainings for local teachers.

“I want to make a difference in the world and allow the world to make a difference in me,” Gibson said. “My motivation to join the Peace Corps comes from my desire to make an impact on these people’s lives, such as teaching them the English language skills they need for business that will allow them a better future and one day enjoy the same luxuries that we do.” Continue reading “Evansville, Ind., resident begins Peace Corps service in Madagascar”

Pewaukee, Wis., native hopes to become part of community as Peace Corps volunteer in Madagascar

Nonnamaker.Max_Madagascar

William “Max” Nonnamaker, 23, of Pewaukee, Wis., has been accepted into the Peace Corps and will depart for Madagascar Feb. 9 to begin training as a community health volunteer. Nonnamaker will live and work at the community level to make a difference helping health workers educate communities on maternal health, nutrition, malaria, childhood diseases, hygiene, sanitation and clean water. He will also organize trainings to build the health workers’ skills so they can better serve their communities.

“I was always interested in the Peace Corps, and after meeting many returned volunteers and hearing about their experiences, decided that it was an experience I’d like to have for myself,” Nonnamaker said. Continue reading “Pewaukee, Wis., native hopes to become part of community as Peace Corps volunteer in Madagascar”

Goodrich, Mich., native begins Peace Corps service in Madagascar

Hockin.AshleyAshley Hockin, 22, of Goodrich, Mich., has been accepted into the Peace Corps and will depart for Madagascar Feb. 9 to begin training as an agriculture extension volunteer. Hockin will live and work at the community level to make a difference designing, implementing and evaluating programs focused on improving food security, such as agriculture-related practices, improving rice cultivation and production, crop and vegetable preservation, vegetable gardening, nutrition education, chicken farming, beekeeping and honey production.

“I’ve always enjoyed helping others, but I also believe there is much we can learn from the people we help,” Hockin said. “The Peace Corps is the perfect opportunity to do just that while seeing a bit of the world in the process.” Continue reading “Goodrich, Mich., native begins Peace Corps service in Madagascar”

Mother of two Peace Corps volunteers felt more pride than worry

Allie, Grant, Ann, Ben and Tom Comstock in Madagascar while visiting Allie who was a Peace Corps volunteer in the country, from 2005-07. Grant also became a Peace Corps volunteer, in Lesotho from 2010-12.
Allie, Grant, Ann, Ben and Tom Comstock in Madagascar while visiting Allie who was a Peace Corps volunteer in the country, from 2005-07. Grant also became a Peace Corps volunteer, in Lesotho from 2010-12.

Anne Comstock understands the mix of swelling pride and lingering worry that comes as the mother of a Peace Corps volunteer. But the Cincinnati-area resident didn’t just send one child off to serve in Africa for two years; she sent two.

Anne’s daughter, Allie, 31, served in Madagascar as a nutrition education volunteer from 2005-07,  and son Grant, 28, was a community health extension volunteer in Lesotho from 2010-12.

“I often get asked what we did as parents that resulted in two of our three kids volunteering for Peace Corps,” said Anne, who raised her children in Richmond, Va. “The answer is nothing; we just got very lucky. They are two of the best people I know.” Continue reading “Mother of two Peace Corps volunteers felt more pride than worry”

Indiana Peace Corps volunteer builds playground for students in Madagascar

Farinas_MadagascarPeace Corps volunteer Jenie Farinas of Peru, Indiana, has given children in her community in Madagascar something that is a common part of schools and communities across the U.S. – a playground.

The playground is part of Farinas’ Project Health Kids, in which she gives primary school students an outdoor space to play while teaching them about healthy living. She built the school’s first playground while starting a school garden to give students access to nutritious foods and income generating activities.

“Project Healthy Kids is an educational program that aims to empower students and teach them about health and life skills,” said Farinas, who is a graduate of Indiana University Bloomington who has been living in Madagascar since 2013. Continue reading “Indiana Peace Corps volunteer builds playground for students in Madagascar”

DePaul Coverdell Fellows program provides new path for returned Peace Corps volunteer to achieve personal, professional goals

Sevcenco.Claudette_Madagascar

One of the unique benefits of Peace Corps’ Paul D. Coverdell Fellows program, which provides financial awards and internships to returned Peace Corps volunteers at more than 80 partner graduate schools across the country, is that it helps universities attract students with global perspectives and one-of-a-kind experiences to campus. Students such as Coverdell Fellow Claudette Sevcenco, who is currently working toward her Master of Public Administration with a specialization in International Management at DePaul University in Chicago. She recalls some of the simple, cherished memories that defined her Peace Corps service in Madagascar.

“I truly miss not having a phone or any sort of technology, even electricity, just having people,” Sevcenco, 28, said. “My fondest memories are those conversations I used to have while leaning against the only taxi in my village, just staring at the rice fields, talking and laughing for hours with anyone who would join in the conversation.” Continue reading “DePaul Coverdell Fellows program provides new path for returned Peace Corps volunteer to achieve personal, professional goals”