Berrien Springs, Mich., resident begins Peace Corps service in Mozambique

Soos.Alexandra_MozambiqueAlexandra Soos, 22, of Berrien Springs, Mich., has been accepted into the Peace Corps and will depart for Mozambique Sept. 21 to begin training as a secondary education chemistry teacher volunteer. Soos will live and work at the community level teaching chemistry in Portuguese to high school students.

“I joined the Peace Corps for the opportunity to be involved in secondary projects,” said Soos. “I also want to learn more about the HIV/AIDS epidemic, the initiative Let Girls Learn and the health and education systems in developing countries.” Continue reading “Berrien Springs, Mich., resident begins Peace Corps service in Mozambique”

Ann Arbor native joins Peace Corps after retirement

Bahlibi_Becky_ParaguayBecky Bahlibi, 65, of Ann Arbor, Mich., has been accepted into the Peace Corps and will depart for Paraguay March 2 to begin training as a non-governmental advising volunteer. Bahlibi will live and work at the community level working with local, national, or international NGOs that deal with youth, social services, small business development or the environment. Her possible projects include creating strategic and funding plans, raising public awareness of an NGO’s mission, conducting community outreach, recruiting and training volunteers, developing mission statements, by-laws and other documentation, working with boards of directors and mentoring staff.

“I have been interested in the Peace Corps since I was quite young; only recently I learned even we older volunteers may be useful,” Bahlibi said. Continue reading “Ann Arbor native joins Peace Corps after retirement”

Ann Arbor resident brings passion for education, youth development to Peace Corps Rwanda

Hart.Sophie_RwandaSophia Hart, 22, of Ann Arbor, Mich., has been accepted into the Peace Corps and will depart for Rwanda Sept. 9 to begin training as an English education volunteer. Hart will live and work at the community level to make a difference teaching conversational English, English as a foreign language and content-based English in middle and high schools.

“I have always loved learning about other cultures and places, so I was attracted to the Peace Corps’ goal of mutual learning between communities and Peace Corps volunteers,” Hart said. “Education and youth development are my major passions and, through the Peace Corps, I knew that I would have the opportunity to serve in those fields. I also believe that spreading a peaceful image of the U.S. is one of the most important things that I can do for my country.” Continue reading “Ann Arbor resident brings passion for education, youth development to Peace Corps Rwanda”

Ann Arbor residents begin Peace Corps service in Vanuatu

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Watching her seventh-grade science teacher in Troy, Mich., share photos and stories from his Peace Corps service ignited a desire in Alexis Cullen to join the Peace Corps herself one day. Some 15 years later, her dream is coming to fruition alongside her husband, Steven. The Ann Arbor residents will depart Jan. 23 to begin training in Vanuatu, where they will live and work at the community level during their 27-month international assignment.

As an English education volunteer, Steven, 27, will teach conversational and content-based English to middle- and high-school students. Alexis, 29, will help local health workers teach community members about maternal and child health, basic nutrition and sanitation, and other pressing health issues. Continue reading “Ann Arbor residents begin Peace Corps service in Vanuatu”

Ann Arbor, Mich., ranks No. 7 on Peace Corps’ list of top volunteer-producing metro areas per capita

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Peace Corps volunteer Steven Goldbaum of Ann Arbor, Mich., celebrating Halloween with his English club in Azerbaijan.

CHICAGO — Ann Arbor ranks No. 7 this year among metropolitan areas for producing Peace Corps volunteers, per capita. The Michigan college town generated 29 volunteers this year, or 8.3 volunteers for every 100,000 residents.

Michigan is No. 9 among states in producing Peace Corps volunteers, with 271 of its residents making a difference in communities overseas. On the whole, Michigan produces 2.7 Peace Corps volunteers for every 100,000 state residents. Continue reading “Ann Arbor, Mich., ranks No. 7 on Peace Corps’ list of top volunteer-producing metro areas per capita”

Ann Arbor resident begins Peace Corps service in Philippines

Sandra Bowers, 54, of Ann Arbor, Mich., has been accepted into the Peace Corps and will depart for the Philippines July 5 to begin training as a youth development volunteer. Bowers will make a difference working on outreach projects concerning at-risk children or youth, adult literacy, health or HIV/AIDS education, environmental awareness, development of libraries and resource centers, and information technology.

“My desire to share skills with others, to learn about another culture, and to represent my country while promoting cultural understanding motivated me to serve,” Bowers said. Continue reading “Ann Arbor resident begins Peace Corps service in Philippines”

Ann Arbor, Mich., resident begins Peace Corps service in Togo

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Mark Hanss, 23, of Ann Arbor, Mich., has been accepted into the Peace Corps and departed for Togo June 10 to begin training as a health volunteer. Hanss will make a difference assisting the Ministry of Health and other partners in improving and expanding community health education, especially in rural areas.

Hanss is a 2007 graduate of Community High School in Ann Arbor. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University in Mount Pleasant, Mich., in 2012. While at Central Michigan, Hanss volunteered and made a difference in numerous service opportunities, including animal rescue operations in Costa Rica and Austin, Texas. His experiences helped prepare him for Peace Corps.  Continue reading “Ann Arbor, Mich., resident begins Peace Corps service in Togo”