Peace Corps Volunteer educates Indonesia community about race and diversity

13047840_1710342049235350_7542513624648049791_o

Vanika Spencer was the first African-American that many of her Indonesian community members had ever encountered. As a Peace Corps Volunteer, her skin tone gave her heightened attention; it was brought up in everyday life, while on the bus and when meeting new people for the first time.

But Spencer overcame the obstacles of serving as a minority in Indonesia by challenging herself and her community in conversations about race and the racial hierarchy enforced in society.

“Peace Corps Indonesia taught me how to be more patient when it comes to discussions about race,” Spencer said. “In America, most people know of African-American history and no one really questions who you are and how you got there. But for most people in Indonesia, I was the first African-American (or even dark-skinned person) they had met.” Continue reading “Peace Corps Volunteer educates Indonesia community about race and diversity”

Returned volunteers from Peace Corps Indonesia stay connected through holiday tradition

30682_636822066616_4335373_n
The 2010-12 class of Peace Corps Indonesia volunteers and staff are still connected, three years after completing their service.

Each year, through the simple gesture of a holiday card, the 2010-12 class of Peace Corps Indonesia is reminded of their friendship and its origin. The cards act as a remembrance of their time in Peace Corps and of their bond, which remains intact three years after completing their service in Indonesia.

Since his group returned to the U.S., Travis Bluemling, a returned volunteer and Peace Corps diversity recruiter for the Midwest Recruitment Office, creates and sends an original holiday card to the group he served with, the Peace Corps staff in Indonesia that were there at that time and the current staff. He sends the cards with someone who is traveling to Indonesia, like a new volunteer embarking on their first year of service or a staff member returning after a break. He mails the rest of the cards to the returned volunteers and their families who are spread out across the country. Continue reading “Returned volunteers from Peace Corps Indonesia stay connected through holiday tradition”

Medina, Ohio, native begins Peace Corps service in Indonesia

Ryan Flynn, 29, of Medina, Ohio, has been accepted into the Peace Corps and will depart for Indonesia March 14 to begin training as a secondary English education volunteer. Flynn will make a difference teaching basic to intermediate English and providing enrichment learning opportunities through extracurricular and non-formal community activities.

“I joined Peace Corps for the ability to take two years and do something meaningful with my life,” Flynn said. Continue reading “Medina, Ohio, native begins Peace Corps service in Indonesia”

Michigan native strives to give hope as volunteer in Peace Corps Indonesia

Wright.Lisa_IndonesiaLisa Wright, 24, of Grand Rapids, Mich., has been accepted into the Peace Corps and will depart for Indonesia March 14 to begin training as a secondary English education volunteer. Wright will make a difference teaching basic to intermediate English and providing enrichment learning opportunities through extracurricular and non-formal community activities.

“My passion and goal in life is to positively impact someone’s life every day, especially with youth,” Wright said. “In adversity, the best thing you can give is hope, that’s what I want to give during my time in Peace Corps.” Continue reading “Michigan native strives to give hope as volunteer in Peace Corps Indonesia”

Illinois resident eager to immerse into Indonesian culture as Peace Corps volunteer

Cummings.Kathryn_Indonesia

Kathryn Cummings, 23, of Round Lake Heights, Ill., has been accepted into the Peace Corps and will depart for Indonesia March 14 to begin training as a secondary English education volunteer. Cummings will make a difference teaching basic to intermediate English and providing enrichment learning opportunities through extracurricular and non-formal community activities.

“I have always been curious about travel and other parts of the world but have not had the means to make it happen,” Cummings said. “It is exciting that I get to immerse myself in another culture and see things from a completely different viewpoint while making a positive difference in the lives of others.” Continue reading “Illinois resident eager to immerse into Indonesian culture as Peace Corps volunteer”

For Oak Park native, Peace Corps combines travel with opportunity to teach

Fish.Nicky_Indonesia

Nicky Fish, 23, of Oak Park, Ill., has been accepted into the Peace Corps and will depart for Indonesia March 14 to begin training as a secondary English education volunteer. Fish will make a difference teaching basic to intermediate English and providing enrichment learning opportunities through extracurricular and non-formal community activities.

“I’ve been blessed with an education and endless resources and I’m really hoping to give back to those who haven’t had the chances I have,” Fish said. “Peace Corps is honestly the perfect combination for what I want in my life right now – a chance to travel and live abroad while also getting to work on my teaching skills and hopefully do some good.” Continue reading “For Oak Park native, Peace Corps combines travel with opportunity to teach”