The Peace Corps is an organization dedicated to providing relief services around the world. Members work abroad on their assignments for about two years after a three month training period.
Political science major Anna Regan was successfully nominated for the position of volunteer and will serve her duty in the following years. Anna will be working with the Education Program, which is involved in teaching literacy, math, and science as well as working with local teachers to improve techniques and supporting extracurricular programs.
“I decided to join the Peace Corps because I love to work with people and I have always had a desire to understand and help address global inequalities,” Regan explains. “I also have long term plans to continue my political science studies by focusing on international development at the graduate level. To me, the Peace Corps seemed like a perfect extension of each of these interests.”
The application process for the Peace Corps requires its applicants to provide extensive information regarding their personal experience, qualifications, and legal and medical history. For the first stage of her application process, Anna had to complete two essays, receive three letters of recommendation. Once her application passed, she was then sent to interview with a regional recruiter covering her volunteer experience and other qualifications.
Now that she has been nominated for the position of volunteer, Anna will undergo a series of background checks to determine where she is best suited to serve. After the background checks are processed, she will then be eligible to be given her assignment.
Dr. Erin Kenny, associate professor of anthropology, worked in the Peace Corps from 1995 to 1997 in Mali, West Africa. During her service, Kenny worked as an agricultural extension agent in a rural village.
“I worked with local village organizations to improve farming/animal husbandry,” Kenny elaborates.
Some other projects that Kenny worked on included working with a women’s farming group that grew vegetables to sell in market.
Anna offers her advice to students wishing to pursue the Peace Corps.
“It’s never too early to start your application. Peace Corps has extensive information on their website describing what they look for in applicants,” Regan says. “If you think you are even remotely interested in serving, there is no time like the present to start building your resume. There are also a number of returned volunteers in Springfield who meet monthly and always invite potential applicants to come hear about their experiences.”