Minnesota Native Starts Business After Peace Corps Service

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As a Peace Corps Volunteer in Nepal, Kelsey Bigbee, 26, spent more than two years encouraging healthy lifestyle habits among her community. But there was one practice that stuck with the Minnesota native: the use of the moringa powder.

Stemming from the moringa oleifera tree, the powder contains more than 90 nutrients and reaps a number of powerful health benefits, such as helping to reduce the symptoms in diabetes patients and helping the liver, brain, and heart. After witnessing some of its benefits for herself, Bigbee decided to start her own business selling moringa powder in the U.S. after she completed her Peace Corps service in October 2015.   Continue reading “Minnesota Native Starts Business After Peace Corps Service”

Ottertail, Minn., resident begins Peace Corps service in the Dominican Republic

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Jessica Spanswick (left) with her sister, Andrea Marthaler

Jessica Spanswick, 26, of Ottertail, Minn., has been accepted into the Peace Corps and departed for the Dominican Republic on March 1 to begin training as a community economic development volunteer. Spanswick will live and work at the community level to help Dominican communities increase sustainable economic development opportunities. She will provide business management assistance in marketing, product and service development, and customer service.

Spanswick’s passion for service and desire to work in international development led her to the Peace Corps.  “I learned that I have a passion for helping people realize their potential,” she said.  “The joy I experienced when a tutee celebrated an A on her writing assignment, the pride I felt when someone mastered the math exercise — these feelings of ‘Wow, I love helping people succeed’ — became a guiding principle in my life after college.”

Continue reading “Ottertail, Minn., resident begins Peace Corps service in the Dominican Republic”

Peace Corps volunteer educates Tanzanian students through open discussion

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Dating is not something that students in the rural villages of Tanzania would confess to doing; often times admitting so could lead to expulsion or a beating by an adult. Asking questions about sex is off-limits as well, but from her classroom in Tanzania, Peace Corps volunteer Steph Wester challenged these restrictions and fostered openness during her two years of international service.

“To end every class, I told the students that they could ask me anything they wanted about sex,” Wester said. “‘I’m not going to hit you, I’m not going to tell anyone,’ I would say.” Continue reading “Peace Corps volunteer educates Tanzanian students through open discussion”

University of Wisconsin-La Crosse earns spot on Peace Corps’ annual Top Schools list

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Erin Fischer is a 2010 graduate of the University of Wisconsin – La Crosse. She is serving as an education volunteer in Ecuador.

CHICAGO – For the first time since 2009, the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse has earned a spot on Peace Corps’ annual list of the top volunteer-producing midsized colleges and universities across the country, the agency announced today. The school ranks No. 20 with 14 alumni currently serving overseas as Peace Corps volunteers.

Since the agency was created in 1961, 261 UW-La Crosse graduates have made a difference as Peace Corps volunteers.

“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 “University of Wisconsin-La Crosse earns spot on Peace Corps’ annual Top Schools list”

The College of Wooster earns a spot on Peace Corps’ annual Top Schools list

Eryn Greaney (center) has been serving as a health volunteer in Ghana since April 2015. She is a May 2014 graduate of The College of Wooster.
Eryn Greaney (center) has been serving as a health volunteer in Ghana since April 2015. She is a May 2014 graduate of The College of Wooster.

CHICAGO –The College of Wooster has earned a spot on the Peace Corps’ annual Top Colleges list, ranking No. 23 among small universities, the agency announced today. Currently, there are eight alumni serving overseas as Peace Corps volunteers.

This is the first year that college has made the annual list of top volunteer-producing colleges and universities. Since the agency was created in 1961, 302Wooster alums have served overseas. Continue reading “The College of Wooster earns a spot on Peace Corps’ annual Top Schools list”

Minnesota couple departs for Peace Corps Ethiopia

Molly and Aaron Heit will depart to serve in Ethiopia on January 9th.
Molly and Aaron Heit will depart to serve in Ethiopia on January 9th.

Aaron Heit, 28, of Blaine, Minn., and his wife Molly Heit, 28, of Andover, Minn., have been accepted into the Peace Corps and will depart for Ethiopia on Jan. 9. The couple will live and work at the community level to train local farmers on improved farming practices for sustainable living. The couple, both serving as environmental education volunteers, will also work with community members on small-scale gardening projects, reforestation trainings and watershed protection projects.

“Our motivations for serving with the Peace Corps have evolved and grown,” Aaron Heit said. “We don’t know how to provide one simple answer as to what calls us to serve, but we want to utilize our science teaching skills in diverse settings and to give back to our country by extending the hand of friendship. Together we will be collecting the moments one by one.” Continue reading “Minnesota couple departs for Peace Corps Ethiopia”

Saint Paul, Minn., native begins Peace Corps service in Ethiopia

Powers_Ethiopia_Angela Powers, 35, of Saint Paul, Minn., has been accepted into the Peace Corps and will depart for Ethiopia on Jan. 9 to begin training as a health extension volunteer. Powers will work at the community level to develop systems that promote general positive living practices within her village. Her work will include educating the community about HIV/AIDS prevention, care and support services as well as the prevention and treatment of malaria.

“Having worked as a nurse for the past 13 years, most recently in the field of public health, I look forward to sharing my skills in this new challenging opportunity,” Powers said. “I am energized by opportunities where I can learn from people with experiences and backgrounds that differ from my own. I look forward to working in partnership with the local community to improve health and general well-being.” Continue reading “Saint Paul, Minn., native begins Peace Corps service in Ethiopia”