Greetings friends! It has been a long and eventful summer- so much has transpired and the dialogue about a “Bold New Peace Corps” has been fast and furious.  We’ve got a new director (finally) and an RPCV to boot (although I must say- I had the distinct honor of working for Peace Corps administration when Mark Gearan - not an RPCV- was the Director and he was fantastic).

So, as a new era is about to dawn I have decided to emancipate myself from “blogging detention” and get us all caught up on some of the great inquiries and questions I’ve received. Here we go….

First up- DISCLOSE! DISCLOSE! DISCLOSE???

Dear Concetta,

I’m nominated for Sept 2009, and I’ve heard this advice (”disclose, disclose, disclose”) before.

Okay, I admit, I’m a worrier. As an older volunteer, I have a long past. I’m worrying that there might be something I’m forgetting to disclose.

Is there a list somewhere of things that it’s important to disclose? Better still, is there a list of things that can get you in trouble (disqualify you)? Such a list might help nominees be SURE that they’ve disclosed all relevant stuff from their past.

I know there are medical things, but even this can be problematic. I’ve tried to disclose everything, but with 50+ years of medical history, worry there might still be something. If I knew more about what they might be looking for, it would help me be sure I’ve disclosed. I’ve never been arrested (fortunately), but are there other things besides criminal records that can get a nominee disqualified?

Signed,

Kate L

Dear Kate,

First apologies for the tardy reply. I know that you are leaving in the near future and I’m sure that all turned out well for you.  Okay, so worrying about your Peace Corps application and the process is a bit of a rite of passage for all the hearty souls who decide to join Peace Corps.  The most important thing to remember is that your recruiter is actually there to help you navigate the process.  When in doubt, it shouldn’t hurt to start with your recruiter and they can give you guidance.  Remember that this whole blog started by discussing peeing in public- how much worse could it be?

As far as I know there is no exhaustive disqualification list- situations are really and truly decided on a case by case basis… a good thing in my opinion since it means that Peace Corps is evaluating the individual and not some goofy action or affiliation from many years ago.

With regard to medical information, while it can feel like a final exam- the truth is that your medical information is not a test.  Peace Corps requires such exhaustive information to make sure that we don’t send an applicant who is deathly allergic to bees to volunteer in a bee keeping program.  It is meant to keep you safe and not to double check your knowledge of when you had your silver fillings replaced.

Hope this helps and Good Luck overseas!

Concetta