Parents’ Love Story Inspires Daughter To Join Peace Corps

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Tracy’s parents were married in Colombia in 1980, nearly a year after meeting. Still married today, the two are proud to send their daughter to the Peace Corps.

Peace Corps has always been in Alexandra Tracy’s blood. For almost her entire life, her parents have replayed their love story for her – painting the picture of how they met in Colombia in 1978, when her father was a Peace Corps Volunteer.

Coming from two completely different worlds, Tracy’s father thirsted for adventure after graduating from college, and her mother, a Colombia resident, was looking for the same. It was during his pre-service training in Bogota, Colombia, when he was placed with a host family that he met the love of his life. Nearly a year later, the two were married in Colombia and they eventually forged a life together back in the U.S.

Their love story, amongst other things, inspired Tracy, 28, to serve also in Colombia with her husband.

“My husband (then fiancé) and I got the acceptance email on the same day. We applied together, but we weren’t at the same location. We were so happy that we called each other,” said the Michigan native. Continue reading “Parents’ Love Story Inspires Daughter To Join Peace Corps”

Peace Corps Holidays: Cameroon

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Because Peace Corps service is a 27-month commitment, it allows volunteers to celebrate the holiday season in their host countries and participate in new traditions and customs, while also sharing their own. From now until January, we will highlight stories from Peace Corps volunteers who share their experiences spending the holidays overseas.

The year 2015 marked a year full of many things, but for Peace Corps volunteer Colin Korst, 2015 was a year of working in the rural communities in Cameroon to educate youth and families about malaria prevention – and 2016 will be no different. Korst, a Wheaton, Ill., native, is serving as an agribusiness volunteer and will be meeting his sister and mother in South Africa this holiday, after being separated for nearly 15 months.

“Last year I spent the holidays in my village. They celebrate Christmas and New Year’s by having massive feasts and moving from house to house eating along the way,” said Korst. “I ate a lot… Especially chicken, that is the main dish. This year will be different since I won’t be in my village which is a bit sad, but I’m very excited to see my family.

Peace Corps volunteers like to celebrate Thanksgiving together. Last year we had a great potluck dinner with a banana cream pie that almost had me in tears, and we talked a lot about football.”

Colin Korst (right) has been serving as an agribusiness volunteer in Cameroon. This holiday season, he will meet his mother and sister in Africa.
Colin Korst (right) has been serving as an agribusiness volunteer in Cameroon. This holiday season, he will meet his mother and sister in Africa.

Continue reading “Peace Corps Holidays: Cameroon”

Indiana volunteer fundraises for students to attend business conference in Nicaragua

Thomas Pearson has been serving as an entrepreneurship education volunteer in Nicaragua since March of 2014. He teaches in four different schools throughout Nicaragua.
Thomas Pearson has been serving as an entrepreneurship education volunteer in Nicaragua since March of 2014. He teaches in four different schools throughout Nicaragua.

Thomas Pearson knows that his Peace Corps service in Nicaragua is much more than the two years he spends in country. To make a true lasting impact, he is leading, coaching and inspiring the people who have the power to ignite change: students.

With the help of a Peace Corps Partnership Program (PCPP) grant, Pearson and other Nicaraguan Peace Corps volunteers are raising money to help send students in their entrepreneurial classes to a national business conference. The PCPP grants support Peace Corps volunteers’ projects throughout the world. To receive funding, a community must contribute at least 25 percent of the total project’s cost to ensure community ownership and long-term sustainability. Pearson’s goal is to raise $14,196.34 to send students to the conference on Nov. 16-18. Continue reading “Indiana volunteer fundraises for students to attend business conference in Nicaragua”

Peace Corps visits Lincoln University to find the next generation of international volunteers

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How does someone become a citizen of the world and prepare for a global job market?  Peace Corps representative Brett Heimann knows exactly how. Heimann will share the personal and professional benefits of living and working in an international community, and members of the public can also take photos with the Peace Car, an eco-friendly recruiter on wheels, when he stops by Lincoln University Wednesday, Sept. 16.

Lincoln students are urged to apply by Oct. 1 for Peace Corps assignments departing in spring 2016. Heimann, who was culturally immersed for two years in Togo as a girls’ education volunteer, will be on campus and can answer questions about the application process and the benefits of Peace Corps service.

“Peace Corps service offers a unique combination of international experience and rewarding work,” says Heimann, who recommends browsing available assignments at www.peacecorps.gov/openings. “It changed my perspective of the world and allowed me to grow personally. Professionally, it underscores your level of commitment and dedication, and your ability to adapt, problem-solve and work across cultures. Today’s graduates need to seek opportunities that provide them with both international and field experience.” Continue reading “Peace Corps visits Lincoln University to find the next generation of international volunteers”

Ohio State Peace Corps recruiter receives agency’s Lillian Carter Award for commitment to service

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President Jimmy Carter, Jack Campbell, and Peace Corps Chief of Staff Laura Chambers at the Lillian Carter Awards in Atlanta.

Former President Jimmy Carter and Peace Corps Chief of Staff Laura Chambers presented the 2015 Lillian Carter Award to returned volunteer Jack Campbell, of Columbus, Ohio, Wednesday at a ceremony at the Carter Center in Atlanta. Campbell, 84, began service as a Peace Corps volunteer in Fiji in 1989 at age 58 and completed a second assignment in Botswana from 1992-1994.

“From the very beginning, Peace Corps volunteers have entered service at all ages, from all walks of life,” Chambers said. “We’re so inspired by senior volunteers … who take the wisdom and skills they’ve acquired over their lifetime and share them so willingly with others, proving that it’s never too late to make a difference.” Continue reading “Ohio State Peace Corps recruiter receives agency’s Lillian Carter Award for commitment to service”

Hickory Hills, Ill., native begins Peace Corps service in Peru

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Ayle Olvera, with sister Michelle and parents Indalecio and Patricia

 

Ayle Olvera, 26, of Hickory Hills, Ill., has been accepted into the Peace Corps and departed for Peru May 6 to begin training as a community economic development volunteer. Olvera will live and work at the community level training and advising entrepreneurs and managers in business planning, marketing, financial management and product design.

“As a first-generation American, I know I am more than fortunate in my education and upbringing,” Olvera said. “The Peace Corps is just a small way to give back to the greater good of the world.” Continue reading “Hickory Hills, Ill., native begins Peace Corps service in Peru”

Eagan, Minn., resident begins Peace Corps service in Peru

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Jon Casurella, 22, of Eagan, Minn., has been accepted into the Peace Corps and departed for Peru May 6 to begin training as a community economic development volunteer. Casurella will live and work at the community level training and advising entrepreneurs and managers in business planning, marketing, financial management and product design.

“I joined Peace Corps for many reasons,” Casurella said. “I want to help people in true need and do what I can to help improve the local economy. I hope to gain a better understanding of global poverty and how to combat it.” Continue reading “Eagan, Minn., resident begins Peace Corps service in Peru”