Greetings Gentle Readers,

Welcome to  “Want to Join the Peace Corps?”  The purpose of this blog  is to create a space to discuss the ins and outs of applying to the Peace Corps.  My answers will be based on my 4+ years as a recruiter in Peace Corps New York Regional Office.  And, fear not, if any aspect of the application process has changed,  you can rest assured that my brethren in the Returned Volunteer community will be sure to correct me.  I look forward to your questions, comments and concerns.  Read on for our first letter from a fraternity brother who finds himself in a compromising position.

Dear Concetta:

I need your help. I really want to join the Peace Corps but I heard that there is some sort of criminal check. I swear I am not a criminal, but I have been arrested. Last year my fraternity had a party and things got a little out of hand and twelve of us- including me- got arrested for ummm…. well… okay- we got arrested for public urination.  Am I out of luck?

Sincerely, Alpha Tepee Peepee

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Hey Peepee:

Thanks for being my inagural correspondent and for illustrating that no question is too strange for “Want to Join the Peace Corps?”  The good (and slightly disturbing) news is that you have a lot of company.  In my years as a recruiter, I was amazed at just how many people ran afoul of the law by relieving themselves “al fresco.”  The most important piece of advice I can give you is Disclose Disclose Disclose.  The Peace Corps does, in fact, do an extensive background check and it is very important for your recruiter to know anything that might come up.  The worst case scenario would be for you to omit some information which Peace Corps would discover after the fact.  And fear not, I did- in fact- help lots of folks who found themselves in your situation to become successful and productive Peace Corps Volunteers.