International experience leads Poynette, Wis., resident to Peace Corps

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Katlyn Saley, 23, of Poynette, Wis., has been accepted into the Peace Corps and will depart for Malawi March 2 to begin training as an environmental education volunteer. Saley will live and work at the community level to raise awareness about a variety of health issues, including nutrition, sanitation, malaria, community health, water, maternal and child health, and HIV/AIDS.

“In the past few years, I have been given the opportunity to go abroad and travel in Third World countries on a few different occasions,” Saley said. “It is in these countries that God continues to call me to help these parts of the world. It is because of that calling that I pursued the Peace Corps.” Continue reading

Canton, Ill., native begins Peace Corps service in Malawi

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Amber Furness, 25, of Canton, Ill., has been accepted into the Peace Corps and will depart for Malawi March 2 to begin training as a natural resource management extension volunteer. Furness will live and work at the community level outside of a national park or forest reserve to improve use of local natural resources through forestry management and promoting better food security with soil and water management. Her possible projects include establishing and managing fruit trees, educating community members on improved cook stoves and encouraging composting, mulching, agroforestry, conservation agriculture, small scale irrigation and permaculture.

“I am excited to learn about new cultures and advance my knowledge of environmental management in a service-oriented position,” Furness said. “Connecting with the people of Malawi will mean new friendships and perspectives that I can share in the U.S. I know that this will be a unique, life-changing experience that I will always cherish.” Continue reading

Superior native begins Peace Corps service in Malawi

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Anya Russom, 26, of Superior, Wis., has been accepted into the Peace Corps and will depart for Malawi March 2 to begin training as an environmental education volunteer. Russom will live and work at the community level to assist communities where environmental issues are in conflict with basic needs for farming and income generation. Her projects will include educating youth on environmental issues, organizing environmental groups, promoting sustainable use of wildlife, forest or marine resources and developing income-generating activities for communities near protected areas.

“I have wanted to be in the Peace Corps for as long as I can remember,” Russom said. “I started travelling internationally when I was 15, and I never stopped. My times overseas have become increasingly impactful on my life, and the Peace Corps now seems like the natural next step. I am ready to welcome Malawi into my life and my heart.” Continue reading

Peace Corps runs in the family for daughter, mother, grandmother

Janet Pershing, Jan Larsen and Abby Pershing

Janet Pershing, Jan Larsen and Abby Pershing

As a kid, Abby Pershing thought she had the coolest mom. She grew up listening to her mother, Janet (Larsen) Pershing, speak Bambara, which sounded like secret-agent talk to Abby but is actually a language of Mali, where Janet served as a Peace Corps volunteer from 1983-85.

Through her mother’s words and photos, Peace Corps seemed like a grand adventure, but Abby was able to see life as a volunteer up close when she visited her grandmother in Burkina Faso. Inspired by her daughter Janet, Jan Larsen also made a difference as a Peace Corps volunteer in West Africa, serving from 2010-12.

In February, Abby, of Rockville, Md., will follow in both of their footsteps and begin her own Peace Corps service in Senegal.

“I received my invitation to serve while on a trip with my grandmother, so she was the first to find out,” said Abby, who graduated with honors from the University of Chicago in 2014 with a bachelor’s degree in sociology and public policy. “It was really special to share that with her. She is so excited that I am joining the Peace Corps, particularly given that Burkina Faso and Senegal are both in West Africa.” Continue reading

Oakland University grad departs for Peace Corps Paraguay

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Alex Morton, 22, of Muskegon, Mich., has been accepted into the Peace Corps and will depart for Paraguay March 2 to begin training as a community services volunteer. Morton will live and work at the community level to organize projects focusing on education, youth development, health, environment and business. She will work with municipalities, cooperatives, schools, non-governmental organizations, neighborhood commissions and other organizations to help the community evaluate and address its needs.

“I was motivated to serve in the Peace Corps to help others in need,” Morton said. “I also hope to use my experiences in Paraguay to educate others in the community about other cultures and the need in some of these communities.” Continue reading

Denison graduate begins Peace Corps service in Nepal

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Sarah Kosling, 23, of Granville, Ohio, has been accepted into the Peace Corps and will depart for Nepal March 6 to begin training as an agriculture extension volunteer. Kosling will live and work at the community level working to improve food security for rural families. Her possible projects include establishing and maintaining soil and water conservation structures and practices, fruit tree production, fish cultivation, raising trees in small nurseries, apiculture and honey production, livestock health, meat and wool production, range management, vegetable gardening and nutrition education.

“The Peace Corps is everything I envision accomplishing in my future all rolled into one,” Kosling said. “I am helping others and seeing the direct result of that service. I am not only traveling but completely immersing myself into a new culture and language while getting to know the kind peaceful people of Nepal. I am gaining a completely different perspective on life and material possession, and meeting other Americans that hold the same values and passions that I hold.” Continue reading

La Crosse, Wis., resident begins Peace Corps service in Senegal

Windy Moua, center, pictured with her sisters Mai Xee.

Windy Moua, center, pictured with her sisters Mai Xee.

Windy Moua, 26, of La Crosse, Wis., has been accepted into the Peace Corps and will depart for Senegal Feb. 27 to begin training as a health extension volunteer. Moua will live and work at the community level to raise awareness about a variety of health issues, including nutrition, sanitation, oral re-hydration therapy, maternal and child health, and AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases.

“I hope I will be a great leader for my community,” Moua said. “I also hope that my experiences with Peace Corps will allow me to work with other international health organizations.” Continue reading