University of Wisconsin-Madison reclaims No. 1 spot on the Peace Corps’ annual Top Schools rankings

27_lauralindePeace Corps volunteer and UW-Madison graduate Laura Linde hopes to work for a nongovernmental organization and promote improved environmental practices internationally after she completes her Peace Corps service this year.

The Peace Corps announced that the University of Wisconsin-Madison ranked No. 1 among large schools on the agency’s 2017 Top Volunteer-Producing Colleges and Universities list. There are 87 Badgers currently volunteering worldwide.

This is the third year that the UW-Madison has ranked among the top five large universities and colleges. In 2016, UW-Madison ranked No. 2. Continue reading “University of Wisconsin-Madison reclaims No. 1 spot on the Peace Corps’ annual Top Schools rankings”

Milwaukee Resident Begins Peace Corps Service in Costa Rica

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Theresa Kedinger, 29, of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, has been accepted into the Peace Corps and will depart for Costa Rica on February 20 to begin training as a community economic development volunteer. Kedinger will work at the community level to build one-on-one relationships with women, youth, and potential entrepreneurs. She will advise business, marketing, financial management, and product design plans, in addition to teaching literacy programs and facilitating business workshops.

“My mother got my sisters and I involved in volunteering at a very young age, and I have always enjoyed the experiences that each has offered,” Kedinger said. “Each encounter, whether it be with an organization itself, the people who work there, or the population that they are serving, has had an impact on who I am today. If I can make an impact, in even the smallest form, I am doing something good for the world, and that is important to me.” Continue reading “Milwaukee Resident Begins Peace Corps Service in Costa Rica”

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”

Chicago Ranks Among Peace Corps’ Top Volunteer-Producing Metro Areas in 2016

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Today, Peace Corps announced that the Chicagoland area – which includes Chicago, Joliet and Naperville – ranks No. 4 among metropolitan areas with the highest number of Peace Corps volunteers. The state of Illinois also ranks No. 6 among the top volunteer-producing states. There are 245 volunteers from the Chicagoland area, and 301 Illinois residents currently serving worldwide. Since the agency’s founding in 1961, 8,788 residents from the Land of Lincoln 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 eighth consecutive year that Chicago has ranked among the five top volunteer-producing metropolitan areas and the state of Illinois ranked in the top ten. Volunteers from Illinois 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 “Chicago Ranks Among Peace Corps’ Top Volunteer-Producing Metro Areas in 2016”

Peace Corps Volunteer Spreads Hope and Education Through HIV/AIDS Prevention

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Abigail Halberg was far removed from HIV/AIDS before joining the Peace Corps. It was a far-fetched concept she could not entirely grasp, even after working as a nurse for several years.

But serving in the Peace Corps changed her relationship with health and HIV/AIDS for the better.

“Before the Peace Corps, I had never met anyone with HIV/AIDS,” Halberg said. “Now, I see that people living with HIV/AIDS are strong, proud, active members of their communities.” Continue reading “Peace Corps Volunteer Spreads Hope and Education Through HIV/AIDS Prevention”

San Antonio, Texas, Resident Begins Peace Corps Service in Peru

Richardson_PeruName: Natasha Richardson

City: San Antonio, Texas

School: Stephen F. Austin State University & St. Mary’s University

Major: Sociology & clinical mental health counseling

Natasha Richardson, 27, of San Antonio, Texas, has been accepted into the Peace Corps and departed for Peru on August 15 to begin training as a youth and development Volunteer. Tracy will work on healthy lifestyle development, building employability skills and parent-engagement within her community. Richardson will also work with key leaders to develop workshops, trainings and activities to educate the community about important topics.

“I am confident that this service is way bigger than me,” Richardson said. “The moment that I received my initial acceptance was surreal and very emotional – I experienced every emotion all at once. Receiving the news after going through the almost year-long process, while continuing my faith and preparation through different challenges, was definitely confirmation that I was right where I should be.”  Continue reading “San Antonio, Texas, Resident Begins Peace Corps Service in Peru”

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”