Making a difference every day: Alpha Phi Alpha leads to Peace Corps service in Togo

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Kyree (left) with his host brothers in Togo.

Kyree Rollins has often been the first to accomplish most things in his life.

He was the first in his family to attend college. He was the first of his friends to map out a plan after graduation. He is a member of the first fraternity established for African-American men, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. And in 2015, Rollins became the first male from his university to join the Peace Corps.

“Coming from the inner city, the Peace Corps is not something that’s common. It’s not something talked about or heard about,” said Rollins. “Most of our families stayed at home and don’t move around or travel much. The Peace Corps was a start for me. I was the second graduate from my university to join. I opened the door for many and showed them that this is an opportunity for us.” Continue reading “Making a difference every day: Alpha Phi Alpha leads to Peace Corps service in Togo”

Celebrating and sharing history and cultures – Peace Corps volunteer finds passion through service in Malawi

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When Nyassa Kollie’s father thinks about his childhood and the hurdles he overcame in pursuit of his education, he replays the voices of encouragement telling him that he could do anything, even earn a doctorate in chemistry. Similarly, when Kollie’s mother faced obstacles growing up, it was the voices of hope that prevailed and lifted her up, reminding her that her education mattered.

Those voices her parents heard belonged to Peace Corps volunteers.

Kollie, now a Peace Corps volunteer in Malawi, wouldn’t fully grasp the motivation that fueled her father’s passion for education, or of the love her mother had for the volunteers who defined her youth until years later. Continue reading “Celebrating and sharing history and cultures – Peace Corps volunteer finds passion through service in Malawi”

University of Wisconsin – Madison leads Volunteers to Peace Corps Agriculture

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Rita Argus (center) recently completed her service as an agriculture volunteer in Senegal.

Joining the Peace Corps was a natural next step for Rita Argus and Daniel Stevenson after they earned their degrees from the University of Wisconsin – Madison. Whether it was through study abroad programs or in-the-field agriculture experiences, the students found their inspiration through different facets within the institution.

But their Wisconsin values were a constant.

“Classroom wise, professors often talked about ‘The Wisconsin Idea’ – the thought that what we are learning in the classroom should be applicable to real world situations,” Argus said. “I think this has conditioned me to better apply what I learned to help with problems and challenges I am encountering here.” Continue reading “University of Wisconsin – Madison leads Volunteers to Peace Corps Agriculture”

Clarksville, Tennessee, Resident Begins Peace Corps Service in Colombia

mahoney_colombiaKellie Mahoney, 26, of Clarksville, Tennessee, has been accepted into the Peace Corps and will depart for Colombia on January 17 to begin training as a primary education teacher trainer. Mahoney will work at the community level to help train and develop teachers’ English-teaching skills. She will also create resources for the classroom, facilitate staff professional development opportunities, and co-teach lessons.

“I’ve had an interest in serving with the Peace Corps for the last few years,” Mahoney said. “After serving with AmeriCorps, I dove into more opportunities that have shaped my life where it is today. My passion for teaching has motivated me to want to serve in communities around the world. I’m attracted to the Peace Corps because I want to be challenged and reach out to students and communities.” Continue reading “Clarksville, Tennessee, Resident Begins Peace Corps Service in Colombia”

Madison Ranks Among Peace Corps’ Top Volunteer-Producing Metropolitan Areas in 2016

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Today, Peace Corps announced that Madison, Wisconsin ranks No. 8 among metropolitan areas with the highest number of Peace Corps volunteers. There are 40 volunteers from Madison and 199 volunteers from Wisconsin currently serving worldwide. Since the agency’s founding in 1961, 6,160 Wisconsinites have served in the Peace Corps.

“During my time leading the Peace Corps, I have seen the tremendous impact that volunteers have when they share their unique hometown perspectives with the communities they serve,” Director Carrie Hessler-Radelet said. “Volunteers represent our nation’s rich diversity by coming from all corners of the U.S. They are able to share our nation’s rich cultural heritage with communities around the world, leaving a legacy of peace and friendship that is timeless.”

Madison made a significant 12-spot climb from last year’s rankings. For the past three years, the University of Wisconsin-Madison occupied the No. 1 and No. 2 spots on the top volunteer-producing universities in the country. Wisconsin volunteers are among the more than 220,000 Americans who have served around the world as agriculture, community economic development, education, environment, health and youth in development volunteers since 1961.  Continue reading “Madison Ranks Among Peace Corps’ Top Volunteer-Producing Metropolitan Areas in 2016”

Minnesota Ranks Among Peace Corps’ Top Volunteer-Producing States in 2016

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Today, Peace Corps announced that the Twin Cities region, which includes Minneapolis, St. Paul and Bloomington, ranks No. 5 among the top metropolitan areas with the highest number of Peace Corps volunteers. The state of Minnesota also ranks No. 5 among states with the highest number of Peace Corps volunteers per 100,000 residents. There are 180 volunteers from the Twin Cities and 232 volunteers from Minnesota currently serving worldwide. Since the agency’s founding in 1961, 6,753 Minnesotans have served in the Peace Corps.

“During my time leading the Peace Corps, I have seen the tremendous impact that volunteers have when they share their unique hometown perspectives with the communities they serve,” said Director Carrie Hessler-Radelet. “Volunteers represent our nation’s rich diversity by coming from all corners of the U.S. They are able to share our nation’s rich cultural heritage with communities around the world, leaving a legacy of peace and friendship that is timeless.”

This is the fourth straight year Minnesota has ranked among the top 10 states with the highest number of Peace Corps volunteers per 100,000 residents. The Twin Cities have consistently ranked among the top 10 metropolitan areas, and this year marks the region’s first appearance among the top five. Minnesota and the Twin Cities region have been rising in the ranks for the past three years. Volunteers from the Land of 10,000 Lakes are among the more than 225,000 Americans who have served around the world as agriculture, community economic development, education, environment, health and youth in development volunteers since 1961.  Continue reading “Minnesota Ranks Among Peace Corps’ Top Volunteer-Producing States in 2016”

Michigan Ranks Among Peace Corps’ Top Volunteer-Producing States in 2016

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Today, Peace Corps announced that Michigan ranks No. 10 among states with the highest number of Peace Corps volunteers. There are 239 volunteers from Michigan currently serving worldwide, and 7,376 Michigan residents have served in the Peace Corps since the agency’s founding in 1961.

“During my time leading the Peace Corps, I have seen the tremendous impact that volunteers have when they share their unique hometown perspectives with the communities they serve,” said Director Carrie Hessler-Radelet. “Volunteers represent our nation’s rich diversity by coming from all corners of the U.S. They are able to share our nation’s rich cultural heritage with communities around the world, leaving a legacy of peace and friendship that is timeless.”

This year marks Michigan’s return to the top 10 rankings since their last appearance in 2013. Earlier this year, the University of Michigan ranked among the top 10 large undergraduate schools and top five graduate schools in producing the most Peace Corps volunteers. Michigan volunteers are among the more than 225,000 Americans who have served around the world as agriculture, community economic development, education, environment, health and youth in development volunteers since 1961.  Continue reading “Michigan Ranks Among Peace Corps’ Top Volunteer-Producing States in 2016”