Flower Mound, Texas, Resident Begins Peace Corps Service in Ukraine

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Name: Ian Blair

City: Flower Mound, Texas

Major: Religious Studies

School: Lewis & Clark College

Ian Blair, 22, of Flower Mound, Texas, has been accepted into the Peace Corps and will depart for Ukraine on September 19 to begin training as a secondary education English teacher. In collaboration with Ukrainian partners, Blair will develop after-school and summer youth programs for students and teachers. He will also help develop an English summer language school, a project initiated by the ministry of education and science of Ukraine in 2015.

“I’m partly Ukrainian through my mother and felt more comfortable volunteering in a place where I had roots,” Blair said. “I’m hoping to find out more about my heritage as well as making a language, as difficult as English, fun and engaging.” Continue reading “Flower Mound, Texas, Resident Begins Peace Corps Service in Ukraine”

Returned Ukraine volunteer not done with Peace Corps, will serve again in Armenia

After more than 40 years of working as a professional architect, Mike Dixon of St. Charles, Ill., decided it was time to fulfill his lifelong dream and join the Peace Corps. As a community economic development volunteer in Ukraine from 2011-14, he enjoyed using his professional skills to make a difference in his local community. 

Since he returned to the Chicago area last March, Dixon has been giving presentations about Peace Corps and Ukraine. Dixon is so committed to Peace Corps that in February 2015 he will depart for a six-month position in Armenia with Peace Corps Response, which offers short-term assignments to returned Peace Corps volunteers and other experienced professionals. Below, he discusses why he decided to rejoin the Peace Corps and more about his experience in Ukraine. Continue reading “Returned Ukraine volunteer not done with Peace Corps, will serve again in Armenia”

UM recruiter provides on-campus resources for students wanting to join Peace Corps

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University of Michigan students planning for the future should take advantage of a unique resource on campus this year: university-dedicated Peace Corps representative Katie Collins. From her office in 1500 of the Student Activities Building, Collins is available to share her experiences and accomplishments living and working abroad in a new culture, while helping students pursue their own path toward making a difference for others and themselves through Peace Corps service after graduation. In under an hour, U-M students can apply to Peace Corps and choose the specific countries and assignments they’d like to be considered for, giving them greater control as they plan their careers and chart a path toward making a difference for others and themselves.

Collins, a returned Peace Corps volunteer, is uniquely qualified to discuss the personal and professional benefits of Peace Corps service. She served in Ukraine as an education volunteer and taught secondary English for more than two years. The Brighton, Mich., native also worked with her school to open a healthy lifestyles training center dedicated to educating the community about HIV transmission.

“I think the proudest moment I had during service was when my school conducted its own community-wide event for teens about the disease,” she said. Continue reading “UM recruiter provides on-campus resources for students wanting to join Peace Corps”

Peace Corps Volunteer currently serving in Ukraine returns home to Ohio on leave

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Peace Corps Volunteer Sarah Finnegan in Ukraine

Hudson, Ohio, resident Sarah Finnegan, a Peace Corps Volunteer currently serving in Ukraine, returned home on leave this week to reconnect with loved ones and share her experiences living and working in a community overseas. It is her first trip back to the U.S. since departing for service in September 2012.

Finnegan, 28, will speak at a special recruitment event at Kent State University (Kent Student Center, Room 314, 1075 Risman Drive) on Wednesday, Oct. 30, at 5 p.m. Applicants and others interested in learning more about Peace Corps are invited to attend and ask Finnegan questions about her service and day-to-day life in Ukraine. Cleveland-based Peace Corps recruiter Annabel Khouri, a returned volunteer who served in Kenya, will lead the event and can offer tips on strengthening one’s application to help secure a volunteer placement in 2014. More information is available here: http://www.peacecorps.gov/meet/events/5887/. Continue reading “Peace Corps Volunteer currently serving in Ukraine returns home to Ohio on leave”

U-M campus Peace Corps recruiters bring diverse volunteer experiences to share with students

Ready to make a difference? Click here to start your application.

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Brian Smyser, in Malawi

University of Michigan students planning for the future should take advantage of a unique resource on campus this year: university-dedicated Peace Corps representatives Brian Smyser and Katie Collins. From their office in Room 10 of the International Center, Smyser and Collins are available to share their experiences and accomplishments living and working abroad in a new culture, while helping students pursue their own path toward making a difference for others and themselves through Peace Corps service after graduation. Continue reading “U-M campus Peace Corps recruiters bring diverse volunteer experiences to share with students”

St. Louis resident begins Peace Corps Response assignment in Ukraine

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Jeannette Sanchez, 40, of St. Louis has been accepted into Peace Corps Response, a program within Peace Corps that matches qualified professionals with short-term, high-impact assignments around the world. Sanchez will depart for Ukraine Oct. 29 to begin training as an advocacy and education volunteer. Sanchez will make a difference working with a non-governmental organization in her local community for nine months.

“I wanted to give back,” Sanchez said. “I have always had a passion to make this world a better place, and I can see myself doing this in the Peace Corps.” Continue reading “St. Louis resident begins Peace Corps Response assignment in Ukraine”

Crystal Lake, Ill., resident begins Peace Corps service in Ukraine

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Kathrina Konfirst, 28, of Crystal Lake, Ill., has been accepted into the Peace Corps and will depart for Ukraine Sept. 16 to begin training as an English education volunteer. Konfirst, who will be serving with her husband, Matt, will make a difference teaching conversational and content-based English to middle- and high-school students.

“I was attracted to the idea of promoting cross-cultural awareness, acceptance and collaboration, as well as learning about another language and culture through complete immersion,” Konfirst said.

Konfirst is the daughter of Robert and Margarete Rainault of Crystal Lake and a graduate of Crystal Lake Central High School. She graduated from Northern Illinois University in DeKalb with a bachelor’s degree in German Language and Literature in 2008. She previously taught high school German, French, and Spanish in District 155 in McHenry County, Illinois. Continue reading “Crystal Lake, Ill., resident begins Peace Corps service in Ukraine”