On-Campus Recruiters Unite To Bring Peace Corps To Michigan State

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Emily Weiss is one of the two on-campus Peace Corps recruiters at Michigan State University.

While serving in the Peace Corps, Emily Weiss didn’t have a road map to success or a list tasks to mark off her check list each day. She didn’t have a “How-to Manual” on becoming a Peace Corps Volunteer.

All Emily had was her passion and 27 months to make a lasting impact on her community in Guinea.

Two years removed from her Peace Corps service, Weiss is now one of the two on-campus Peace Corps recruiters at Michigan State University, where the Michigan resident obtained her bachelor’s degree in physiology in 2013. Continue reading “On-Campus Recruiters Unite To Bring Peace Corps To Michigan State”

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”

Urbana, Ohio, Native Begins Peace Corps Service in Cambodia

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Brittany Baker (center) departed for Peace Corps service in Cambodia on July 14.

Brittany Baker, 22, of Urbana, Ohio, has been accepted into the Peace Corps and will depart for Cambodia on July 14 to begin training as a secondary education English teacher as part of the community’s TEFL program. Baker will work at the community level to teach English at the high school and middle school level. She will also lead and develop extracurricular activities to enhance the educational experience for youth in her community.

“The moment I was accepted to Peace Corps was one of the happiest moments of my life because this has been a 10-year journey,” said Baker. “Although I can’t put my finger on what exactly motivated me to join, I’ve always been a curious person and Peace Corps is a way for me to learn and explore.” Continue reading “Urbana, Ohio, Native Begins Peace Corps Service in Cambodia”

Chicago Native Begins Peace Corps Service in China

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Jessica Bustamante, 29, of Chicago, Illinois, has been accepted into the Peace Corps and will depart for China June 17 to begin training as a secondary education English teacher trainer. Bustamante will work at the community level to teach college-level students basic English writing and listening skills. She will provide her students with the necessary training needed to become primary and middle school teachers throughout the community.

“I was with my twin sister, Janette, when I received a notification of my acceptance,” said Bustamante. “My heart dropped suddenly, and the moment felt surreal as I told her that I had been invited to serve in China. A part of me still feels that way. We hugged each other, and I clearly remember Janette saying, ‘June 2016 is going to be here before you know it.’ Indeed, it’s here already.” Continue reading “Chicago Native Begins Peace Corps Service in China”

Peace Corps Volunteer educates Indonesia community about race and diversity

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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”

North Dakota native finds a new perspective through Peace Corps

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The in-home washer and dryer is a convenience many Americans take for granted, but returned Peace Corps volunteer Westen Thomas knows another way. For two years, he scrubbed and cleaned his own laundry by hand, under the harsh Cambodian sun and surrounded by the noises of daily village life. In time, the hard work became a reward in itself.

“I miss the sounds of roaming animals, the chatter and laughing of the nearby neighbors, and those one to two hours of time to just think about life,” Thomas said. “In a way, hand washing my laundry became my weekly meditation.”

Continue reading “North Dakota native finds a new perspective through Peace Corps”

Meet Your Peace Corps Recruiter: Flora Tano

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Name: Flora Tano
Country of Service: China, 2013-15
Assignment:  Teaching English as a Foreign Language
Recruitment Territory: Chicagoland

When you applied where you did hope to go or hoped to do?
I had no particular preference; however, I assumed that being a native French speaker and from the Ivory Coast would automatically destine me for an African country.  I was wrong. Peace Corps had something else for me. Continue reading “Meet Your Peace Corps Recruiter: Flora Tano”