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”

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”

Tulsa, Oklahoma, Resident Begins Peace Corps Service in Thailand

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Nemhoilhing Kipgen, 23, of Tulsa, Oklahoma, has been accepted into the Peace Corps and will depart for Thailand this month to begin training as a youth in development volunteer. Kipgen will work at the community level to educate youth about topics in reproductive health, sports and nutrition, and drug and alcohol use. She will also work to promote leadership activities and community service opportunities within her community.

“I spent most of my childhood in Myanmar. My family and I immigrated to the United States through the United Nations refugee resettlement program. My personal experiences have been a great asset for me and I want to give back to the community,” Kipgen said. “Last year, I had the opportunity to serve as an AmeriCorps volunteer at City Year Tulsa. My work with City Year further motivated me to join the Peace Corps, and do my best to help others globally.” Continue reading “Tulsa, Oklahoma, Resident Begins Peace Corps Service in Thailand”

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”

Peace Corps Holidays

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. Below, we highlight stories from Peace Corps Volunteers who share their experiences spending the holidays overseas. From one Peace Corps Volunteer to another, these Volunteers share their advice to those embarking on their first festive season in service.

Attend our Holidays Away From Home online event Monday, December 19th to hear more about serving overseas during the holiday season. 

Continue reading “Peace Corps Holidays”

Illinois State University Campus Recruiter Overcomes Adversities to Serve in the Peace Corps

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Joining the Peace Corps wasn’t the easiest decision Vanessa Soto ever made, but it was the right one.

After emigrating to the U.S. from Mexico and forging a new life for their family, Soto’s parents wanted more for their children. Passing up a salary job after graduation to travel the world did not seem like the most lucrative option to her family.

But they were wrong.

“It felt like my family had taken a step forward and I would be taking two steps back,” Soto said. “But after explaining the benefits of serving: gaining experience and the opportunity to see a part of the world that is mostly unknown to my local community – they started to accept that it was my calling.” Continue reading “Illinois State University Campus Recruiter Overcomes Adversities to Serve in the Peace Corps”

Returned Peace Corps Volunteer Completes Service in Uganda

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Peace Corps Volunteers know that service isn’t a bucket list item; it’s a life-long dedication. Once you are part of the Peace Corps family, you are always a member. No one knows that better than Lindsay Carrera, a Hartland, Wisconsin, native who recently completed her service in Uganda.

“I have always wanted to do Peace Corps – since I was young,” Carrera said, “I love learning about people and trying to help. It was an educational experience.” Continue reading “Returned Peace Corps Volunteer Completes Service in Uganda”