Drake University earns a spot on Peace Corps’ annual Top Schools list

Peace Corps Director Carrie (right) visits volunteers in Ecuador. Claire Williamson (right) graduated from Drake University in XX.
Peace Corps Director Carrie Hessler-Radelet (right) visits volunteers in Ecuador. Claire Williamson (right) graduated from Drake University in May 2012.

CHICAGO – Drake University has made its debut on the Peace Corps’ annual Top Volunteer-Producing Colleges and Universities list, ranking No. 23 among small universities, the agency announced today. Currently, there are eight Drake alumni serving overseas as Peace Corps volunteers.

This is the first year that the university has made Peace Corps’ Top Colleges list. Since the agency was created in 1961, 269 Drake alums have served overseas.

“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 “Drake University earns a spot on Peace Corps’ annual Top Schools list”

How this Peace Corps applicant turned a ‘No’ to a ‘Yes’

Jackson.Tori

Tori Jackson vividly remembers February 24th, 2015. It was the day she received notification that she was not selected for the Peace Corps, and her dreams were suddenly put on hold.

But 30 days was all it took for the Indianapolis native to turn the ‘no’ into a ‘yes’. The George Washington University graduate was determined to make her a dream a reality and spent a month revamping and improving her application. Her hard work paid off, and Tori will begin serving as a secondary English education teacher in Ecuador on Jan. 26. Continue reading “How this Peace Corps applicant turned a ‘No’ to a ‘Yes’”

Columbus, Ind., native departs for Peace Corps Ecuador

Hofmeister

The world is Tim Hofmeister’s classroom and for 27 months there are no boundaries that he will not cross. The Columbus, Ind., native will depart on Jan. 26 for Ecuador to begin training as a secondary education English teacher and will train the local English teachers on new instruction methodologies to implement in the classroom. He will also work with community groups to create need-based development projects for his community and facilitate youth life-skills classes and professional development workshops. A graduate of the Grand Valley State University of Allendale, Mich., he shares below how he was inspired to serve. Continue reading “Columbus, Ind., native departs for Peace Corps Ecuador”

New Wash U Peace Corps recruiter arrives to campus

Marissa Cohen (center) served in Ecuador from 2013-15 as a youth and family development volunteer. She now works as the on-campus Peace Corps recruiter at Washington University - St. Louis.
Marissa Cohen (center) works as the on-campus Peace Corps recruiter at Washington University – St. Louis. She served in Ecuador from 2013-15 as a youth and family development volunteer.

Marissa Cohen knows the doubts and uncertainties that race through students’ minds when considering and applying for Peace Corps. As a returned volunteer from Ecuador, Cohen understands the questions and apprehensions Washington University – St. Louis students may have about Peace Corps, and she wants to be their voice of reassurance.

“I want to encourage others to join the Peace Corps and share my personal experience to give a better idea of what the Peace Corps is like,” said the St. Louis native. “As an applicant, I recall wanting to have the opportunity to talk with someone about their experience to understand what I was getting myself into.” Continue reading “New Wash U Peace Corps recruiter arrives to campus”

The simple life: Mizzou Peace Corps recruiter’s service inspires students

Daniel Zozaya (far right), is the new on-campus Peace Corps recruiter at the University of Missouri - Columbia. He served as a secondary English teacher facilitator in Ecuador from 2012-14.
Daniel Zozaya (far right), is the new on-campus Peace Corps recruiter at the University of Missouri – Columbia. He served as a secondary English teacher facilitator in Ecuador from 2012-14.

It’s the simple things that Daniel Brown Zozaya misses the most about his Peace Corps service in Ecuador.

It’s the afternoon guitar sessions after a day’s work. Or the memory of breaking the icy exterior of the Punguayco River, a river so cold only the taunting from his new-found friends could get him to plunge into the frigid water. Continue reading “The simple life: Mizzou Peace Corps recruiter’s service inspires students”

Serving as a LGBTQ Peace Corps volunteer

Shay and Betsie
Shay and Betsie, Peace Corps volunteers in Ecuador

Shay had few expectations when she began her Peace Corps service in Ecuador but, as a lesbian, she did expect that she wouldn’t be able to be open about her sexual orientation. In actuality, she met her future wife and now helps create a healthy and safe environment for other lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer volunteers.

The 27-year-old Cape Girardeau, Mo., native and graduate of Southeast Missouri State University joined the Peace Corps for the opportunity to promote peace and friendship while sharing technical skills and cultures. Shay arrived in Ecuador in May 2014 and serves as a health extension volunteer. She is also the president of SpeQtrum, a support group for Peace Corps volunteers in Ecuador who identify as LGBTQ or ally.

“Being a Peace Corps volunteer presents challenges from so many angles,” Shay said. “Personally, my identifying as a lesbian has been one of the smallest challenges during service, but I do feel that my in-country staff is particularly attentive to the needs of LGBTQ volunteers.” Continue reading “Serving as a LGBTQ Peace Corps volunteer”

Eat exotic fruits, train teachers, make a difference as a Peace Corps volunteer in Ecuador

DSCN1587Meet Erin, a Peace Corps volunteer making a difference as an English teacher trainer in Ecuador. Does her story sound like an experience you’d be suited for? We’re currently looking for the next generation of volunteers to fill this assignment. Learn more on our website and apply by July 1 if you’re ready to serve.

What Erin Fischer loves most about her Peace Corps job in Ecuador is that it’s a collaboration.

As a secondary education English teacher trainer, Fischer works with instructors to improve their methodology and teaching strategies. This allows her to not only touch the lives of her students but make an impact on the teachers, as well.

“Together we plan the classes, create activities, and teach the classes,” said Fischer, 27. “It is a powerful opportunity for the students and teachers alike. Most often in the first class I will model a technique or how to lead an activity, and the teacher will replicate it in the next class.” Continue reading “Eat exotic fruits, train teachers, make a difference as a Peace Corps volunteer in Ecuador”