Peace Corps Volunteer Emilio Garcia with a counterpart in Panama.
East Lansing, Mich., native and Michigan State University graduate Emilio Garcia had Peace Corps in his blood long before he decided to serve. His father, Luis, also an MSU alum and current director of the university’s Migrant Student Services, served as a volunteer in Paraguay from 1978-80, where he met Emilio’s mother. After they married, they often brought their children back to the community where Luis served. On these trips, Emilio not only heard about his father’s service, but saw its results, in the trees that his father planted and the school he helped to build.
Now, the younger Garcia has his own accomplishments to share. Emilio, 26, completed two years of Peace Corps service as a sustainable agriculture volunteer in Panama in June. He is currently in Cali, Colombia, volunteering on organic farms, and he expects to visit Ecuador, Peru, and Paraguay, as well. His father’s experience, combined with a personal commitment to his country and service abroad, inspired him to apply to the Peace Corps.
“I saw Peace Corps as a cultural exchange opportunity to live and work every day assisting a group of people on projects that they believe will enhance their community and self-esteem,” he said. Continue reading →
Peace Corps volunteer Mayank Prasad with youths in Namibia.
As a member of Peace Corps Namibia’s diversity committee, Peace Corps volunteer Mayank Prasad works with local community members and other volunteers to promote and educate about both American and Namibian diversity. Peace Corps strives to reflect America’s diversity around the world, and currently 24 percent of all volunteers identify as a racial or ethnic minority. Prasad, who was born in New Delhi, India, and moved to Canton, Mich., in 2000, is among them.
“Being a non-white volunteer presents opportunities and challenges,” Prasad, 26, said. “I’m happy to represent American diversity, but in the beginning, I did go through adversity as many people in my community didn’t believe I was an American. But once they got to know me and my background, they opened their arms to me and accepted me as an American.” Continue reading →
Emily Weiss, 22, of Saginaw, Mich., has been accepted into the Peace Corps and will depart for Guinea Dec. 2 to begin training as a health extension volunteer. Weiss will make a difference assisting her local community with public health education.
“The great thing about Peace Corps is that they put volunteers in places where they can become part of the community,” Weiss said. “This idea of completely integrating into a culture is so appealing to me because I can see where the community wants help and collaborate with them. Learning and doing together makes the work so much more valuable.” Continue reading →
Ryne Gardner, 25, of Dublin, Ohio, has been accepted into the Peace Corps and will depart for Guinea Dec. 2 to begin training as a public health volunteer. Gardner will make a difference assisting his local community with preventative health education.
Gardner is the son of Kathie and Harry Gardner and a 2006 graduate of St. Charles High School in Bexley, Ohio. He earned a bachelor’s degree in economics from The Ohio State University in Columbus in 2010 and has worked as an analyst for JP Morgan Chase. Continue reading →
Lindsay Carrera, 23, of Hartland, Wis., has been accepted into the Peace Corps and will depart for Uganda Nov. 12 to begin training as an education volunteer. Carrera will make a difference providing formal and informal training and support to elementary-school teachers, as well as providing classroom instruction.
Carrera is the daughter of Henry and Katherine Carrera and a graduate of Arrowhead High School in Hartland. She earned her bachelor’s degree in English Literature and Italian from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2012. Continue reading →
Peace Corps volunteer Sara Scholin with students in Macdeonia.
Peace Corps volunteers worldwide are teaching community members about American Halloween traditions, exemplifying the Peace Corps’ goal of promoting a better understanding of Americans on the part of people served. Below is an example of how one volunteer in Macedonia shared American Halloween traditions with her students.
Peace Corps volunteer Sara Scholin of Pine City, Minn., recently collaborated with two teachers from the local primary school in her Macedonian community to host a three-day Halloween celebration for nearly 500 students in fifth through eighth grade. During the celebration, students learned about the basic history of Halloween and participated in traditional Halloween activities. Continue reading →
Hudson, Ohio, resident Sarah Finnegan, a Peace Corps Volunteer currently serving in Ukraine, returned home on leave this week to reconnect with loved ones and share her experiences living and working in a community overseas. It is her first trip back to the U.S. since departing for service in September 2012.
Finnegan, 28, will speak at a special recruitment event at Kent State University (Kent Student Center, Room 314, 1075 Risman Drive) on Wednesday, Oct. 30, at 5 p.m. Applicants and others interested in learning more about Peace Corps are invited to attend and ask Finnegan questions about her service and day-to-day life in Ukraine. Cleveland-based Peace Corps recruiter Annabel Khouri, a returned volunteer who served in Kenya, will lead the event and can offer tips on strengthening one’s application to help secure a volunteer placement in 2014. More information is available here: http://www.peacecorps.gov/meet/events/5887/. Continue reading →