Tuesday, September 6, 2011

No Rest for the Righteous








Eric White
Staff Writer
ejwhite@uab.edu
50 YEARS OLD PEACE CORPS IS LOOKING FOR VOLUNTEERS IN EDUCATION

As the organization reaches it’s fifty-year mark, the Peace Corps is looking to recruit thousands of college graduates to volunteer in the available 76 countries.

Over one thousand Alabamians have served in the Peace Corps since the program’s inception in 1961, and 56 are currently engaged in Peace Corps activities around the world.

“Right now we really need volunteers in education, specifically teaching English as a second language, math, science and people with backgrounds in areas like environmental science, agriculture, and business,” said southeast regional recruiter Steve Hunsicker.

Approximately ninety percent of all volunteers for the Peace Corps have joined with at least an undergraduate degree, but a college degree is not always necessary.

“While most of these positions are acquired through four year degrees, they are all skills- based, and if for instance you have no degree but you have a high experience level with farming, we take that into account and match that experience with what we’re looking for,” said Hunsicker.

A few UAB graduates have taken their knowledge overseas and applied it to volunteer work with the Peace Corps.

UAB School of Public Health alumnus Princess Nash spends her days in Guyana training health workers about chronic diseases, conducting health education at secondary schools and teaching natives AIDS education.

Nash said that working with the Peace Corps is an excellent opportunity to grow as an individual, gain some extended family members and share knowledge with communities across the globe.

“Peace Corps service is a never ending learning adventure…the corner office or cubicle can wait,” said Nash.

Sam Ryals graduated from UAB with a degree in political science and is currently working in Ukraine as an English teacher.

“I would recommend Peace Corps to any UAB alumnus that is searching for a creative way to be challenged,” said Ryals.

“Peace Corps requires you to think outside the box, and this is something that fosters professional growth,” he said.

Recruitment positions offer opportunities in six major work areas: education, health, business development and ICT, agriculture, environment, and youth and community development.

As an International Studies student at UAB, Rachel Brown said that the Peace Corps is “definitely something I’ve considered a great deal.”

“After graduating, people want to work towards their own future while experiencing the world, and the Peace Corps is a unique way to do that where you get to visit new places and help people,” said Brown.

“I know someone who got accepted and just left for their initiative and they were really excited,” she said.

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