Returned Peace Corps volunteers to speak at WWU at 4 today

Western Today staff

The Peace Corps at Western Washington University will hold an “Around the World” fair from 4 to 5 p.m. today, Feb. 7, in the Miller Hall Collaborative Space.

Returned Peace Corps volunteers will be available to answer questions, share their stories, photos and mementos with tables representing many different countries of service.

WWU boasts 73 alumni currently serving in the Peace Corps, more than  any other medium-sized university in the country.

Among the returned Peace Corps volunteers in attendance will be Abe Lloyd, who served in Nepal from 2003 to 2004 as a botanist for Langtang National Park.

"The Peace Corps isn’t for everyone, but for those people who are good at managing themselves, the Peace Corps is an unsurpassed opportunity to immerse yourself in another culture, contribute to a community in the manner that you think is most important, and have the best support team in the world," Lloyd says.

Susan Anderson, another returned Peace Corps volunteer (and WWU career counselor) served in Lesotho from 1978 to 1981.

"When I graduated from Western and left for the Peace Corps, I never would have predicted that it would be an experience that would directly affect me for the rest of my life," she says. "More than 30 years after completing my Peace Corps service, I’m still friends with friends in my village. On Facebook no less! How weird is that?  I made exactly one phone call in the three years that I was a volunteer ... and now I chat with them on a regular basis on Facebook."

Western’s Career Services Center has a long and well-established partnership with the Peace Corps. For more than 30 years, the center has had a designated Peace Corps campus representative available to students, graduates and community members who are interested in pursuing opportunities in service abroad. The Peace Corps representative answers general questions, offers application assistance and conducts interviews of qualified candidates. Because there is strong interest in international careers and internships at Western, the Career Services Center also co-hosts the annual International Opportunities Fair, brings international employers to campus and organizes presentations by U.S. State Department’s Foreign Service. For more information contact 360-650-3240 or visit the WWU Career Services Center website at www.wwu.edu/careers.

About the Peace Corps: Since President John F. Kennedy established the Peace Corps by executive order on March 1, 1961, more than 210,000 Americans have served in 139 host countries. Today, 8,073 volunteers are working with local communities in 76 host countries in agriculture, community economic development, education, environment, health and youth in development. Peace Corps volunteers must be U.S. citizens and at least 18 years of age. Peace Corps service is a 27-month commitment and the agency’s mission is to promote world peace and friendship and a better understanding between Americans and people of other countries. Visit www.peacecorps.gov for more information.