I realized it’s my first time blogging in 2018, so happy new year!
Peace Corps is a US federal Volunteer program that began in 1961 by President John F Kennedy, with the intent of encouraging Americans to serve abroad. Volunteers can learn about where they serve and who they serve with and likewise affect how people outside the US view America. A service term can vary from 1 month to 2 years and include various sectors such as Education, Economics, Environment, and Health.
I developed an interest in Peace Corps during my volunteer experience in AmeriCorps. I heard a lot of great things about Peace Corps, including the projects one can do, learning opportunities,and benefits. There was also a short application process and the option to Volunteer anywhere. So far so good.
After gathering information from researching Peace Corps, contacting my recruiter and asking other Peace Corps volunteers, I applied. I didn’t have a preference so I applied to go anywhere. By June the application was submitted and my interview was in July. I was expecting to hear back in January.
Peace Corps in this case chose where I would be needed most and where my skills would best fit. They selected me to serve in Burkina Faso as a Community Health Specialist. Though my background seemed to mostly fit, I was in the fence about going there. I have never been to Africa and I didn’t know French too well.
Unfortunately months later, an incident occurred that prompted volunteers to evacuate from the country!! I was deeply concerned and wondered how Peace Corps would handle it.
I was then notified that the Burkina Faso trip was cancelled and that I would serve in Cameroon for a similar position. I felt a little more comfortable about it, but still had doubts.
I had to do the same interview again in October and wasn’t expected to hear back until March. I didn’t feel as prepared or motivated about this interview and I had a gut feeling I wouldn’t get accepted. It turned out my gut feeling was right!
Given my experience, I would prefer to select the country I would love to serve than have Peace Corps choose. Im glad to have been notified sooner that I wasn’t accepted, then worrying about it for months. I’m considering reapplying in the future when the time is right.