Peace Corps Volunteers

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Growing Dreams: A Peace Corps Volunteer reflects on his service in Nepal
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The Volunteer Who Was the Once and Future President of the U. S. — A Profile in Citizenship
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The Volunteer Who Opened Doors — A Profile in Citizenship
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Passing of a Great Peace Corps Writer & Editor — Aaron Barlow (Togo)
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Janelle Jones (Peru) joins Biden Administration as Chief Economist at DOL!
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Samra Brouk (Guatemala) Is newly elected to the New York State Senate
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“A Profile in Citizenship” by Jerry Norris (Colombia)
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Alana DeJoseph (Mali) wins Best Director Award at Mumbai Film Festival
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2021 AIA Gold Medal Award To RPCV Edward Mazria (Peru)
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“Peace Corps job after THE Peace Corps job” — Yuta Masuda (Republic of Georgia)

Growing Dreams: A Peace Corps Volunteer reflects on his service in Nepal

by Teagen Barresi (Nepal 2016-18)   I joined the Peace Corps because I was looking for a way to serve. Simultaneously, I wanted to give myself an opportunity to grow and learn more skills. I had previously learned about food systems in the U.S., and I wanted to test what I knew about food systems in another part of the world. The Peace Corps gave me the opportunity to learn an enormous amount while working to make a positive impact in the lives of others. I credit my aunt who served in the Peace Corps in the Solomon Islands in the 1990s with inspiring me to serve. Her experience there, and the stories she told, were always in the back of my mind. It was the final push I needed to send in an application. During my two years in Nepal, I lived and worked in a rural agricultural village. Most members . . .

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The Volunteer Who Was the Once and Future President of the U. S. — A Profile in Citizenship

By Jeremiah Norris (Colombia 1963–65)  • In 1962, when Paul Tsongas was in training at Georgetown University to become a Peace Corps Volunteer in Ethiopia, on that first night as trainees were beginning to know each other, they were all asking “why did you join?” He answered: “I am going to run for office and the Peace Corps would be to my credit.”  At that time, it was a distant dream. Yet, it set him on a path that would subsequently propel him to be a viable candidate for the presidency of the United States. After his Volunteer days in Ethiopia, that dream was in process of fulfilment had not that cruel master — fate — tragically intervened. After earning a BA Degree from Dartmouth College in 1962, Paul became one of the earliest Volunteers at a time when JFK’s signature on the Executive Order that authorized a Peace Corps was barely . . .

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The Volunteer Who Opened Doors — A Profile in Citizenship

  The Volunteer Who Opened Doors to a Wider World of Opportunities By Jeremiah Norris Colombia (1963-65)  • Maureen Orth attended the University of California, Berkeley, graduating in 1964, then became a Peace Corps Volunteer in a rural site outside of Medellin, Colombia, 1964-66. After Colombia, she became a Peace Corps recruiter in the Midwest and then headed the Peace Corps west coast Office of Public Affairs, then earned a graduate degree in journalism at the University of California, Los Angeles. In an essay titled as “Twice in My Life,” she recorded an early experience as a Volunteer when on one memorable Sunday afternoon a dramatic posse of five men on horseback, dressed in black fedoras and wearing traditional ruanas galloped up to her front door in the barrio. They were leading an extra horse for her. They rode straight up into the mountains for about three miles to meet an isolated . . .

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Passing of a Great Peace Corps Writer & Editor — Aaron Barlow (Togo)

  by Jane Albritton (India 1967-69) •   Aaron Barlow (Togo 1988-90) has died. His life had many chapters in it, including owner of the bookstore/café Shakespeare’s Sister; Fulbright Lecturer in American Literature at the University of Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso; cultural studies scholar and professor of English at New York City College of Technology; and Peace Corps Volunteer. There will be others who will memorialize Aaron’s life as a mentor, writer, and professor. What I want to recount here is how Aaron Barlow saved my bacon as I tried to navigate the narrows of publishing the four books in the Peace Corps at 50 Story Project. Begun in 2007 for the 2011 50th Anniversary, the story project seemed to me a slam dunk for publication. What house would not want a ready audience of 200,000 RPCVs? Zero, as it turned out, until Traveler’s Tales agreed to publish the work. By . . .

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Janelle Jones (Peru) joins Biden Administration as Chief Economist at DOL!

Thanks for the ‘heads up’ from Monica Mills (PC/HQ 1995-2000)   “I’m very excited to announce I have joined the Biden Administration as the Chief Economist at the Department of Labor! I am excited to help build back a better economy where workers, especially those usually left behind, are safe, secure, & empowered at the workplace. Let’s get to work!” Janelle Jones was an economic analyst at the Economic Policy Institute through 2018. She is an economic analyst working on a variety of labor market topics within EPI’s Program on Race, Ethnicity, and the Economy (PREE) and the Economic Analysis and Research Network (EARN). She was previously a research associate at the Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR), where she worked on topics including racial inequality, unemployment, job quality, and unions. Her research has been cited in The New Yorker, The Economist, Harper’s, The Washington Post, The Review of Black Political Economy, and other . . .

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Samra Brouk (Guatemala) Is newly elected to the New York State Senate

From Spectrum News in New York State:   “State Senator Samra Brouk is a freshman Democrat from Rochester who has spent much of her life working on behalf of others. After graduating from Williams College, Brouk volunteered with the Peace Corps in Guatemala, where she was a health educator. After her return to New York, she founded a non-profit, which enables seniors to age in place. Most recently, Brouk raised money for Chalkbeat, a grassroots journalism organization devoted to education.: Brouk spoke with Capital Tonight host Susan Arbetter about what she hopes to bring to Albany.  Here is the interview: https://spectrumlocalnews.com/nys/central-ny/ny-state-of-politics/2021/01/04/meet-new-state-senator-samra-brouk–sd—55 • Please note:  Thank you to the group RPCVs for Political Action for this  important news. They posted on their Facebook page a link to the ZOOM ceremony in which Senator Brouk was sworn to office. I believe it is also noted in the ceremony that Senator Brouk is . . .

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“A Profile in Citizenship” by Jerry Norris (Colombia)

  Note from the editor: In the past four years, one would have to have been an expert in the forensic sciences to find any article in the press or social media on the Peace Corps. Then, in March of 2020, a virus resurrected it to public awareness when the Peace Corps withdrew all of its 7,000+ Volunteers from their overseas posts out of an abundance of caution for their health.   If Volunteers in active service aren’t perceived as still a viable representation of the Peace Corps’ raison d’etre, then perhaps it can be found in the dividends that returned Volunteers continue to invest in our society as responsible citizens of the world. They are emblematic of the Peace Corps’ Third Goal: “Help promote a better understanding of other peoples on the part of Americans.” Since its founding in 1961, some 285,000 Volunteers have served around the world. After . . .

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Alana DeJoseph (Mali) wins Best Director Award at Mumbai Film Festival

  From 1992 to 1994 Peace Corps Volunteer Alana DeJoseph was an enterprise development advisor in a small town in Mali, West Africa, consistently one of the 10 poorest nations in the world. Being a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer she understood that as walls are being built and nations are turning inward, a comprehensive documentary of this globally engaged American agency was urgently needed. Alana says: “In a time when the American public either has a very antiquated notion of the Peace Corps, informed by an almost mythological awe of the 60s, or is not even aware that the agency still exists, it is high time to bring this unique organization back into the public discourse, to raise the level of the discussion from quaint to crucial.” Alana has worked in video and film production for nearly 40 years. She began her career as a 10-year-old actress. Since then, she . . .

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2021 AIA Gold Medal Award To RPCV Edward Mazria (Peru)

  The Board of Directors and the Strategic Council of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) are honoring Edward Mazria (Peru 1964-66), FAIA, with the 2021 Gold Medal. The Gold Medal honors an individual whose significant body of work has had a lasting influence on the theory and practice of architecture. Mazria is being recognized for his work sounding the alarm on climate change and motivating the profession to take action. A native New Yorker and graduate of the Pratt Institute, Mazria received his Bachelor of Architecture degree from the school and played on its basketball team, garnering attention from the New York Knicks. After being selected in the 11th round of the 1962 NBA draft, Mazria opted to serve in the Peace Corps in Peru, where he uncovered the notion that responsible architecture is the key to both social and environmental improvement. When he returned stateside to work in . . .

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“Peace Corps job after THE Peace Corps job” — Yuta Masuda (Republic of Georgia)

  Yuta Masuda (Georgia 2005-06) is a Senior Sustainable Development and Behavioral Scientist in Global Science at the Nature Conservancy. His work at the Conservancy investigates the impacts of conservation programs on human well-being, and he has a particular interest in gender, development, institutions, and human health. Yuta’s current work looks at integrating human well-being considerations into conservation programs to better understand their risks and benefits to people.      In addition, he is working on research on sustainable development, gender and conservation, technology-assisted data collection, and developing new indicators for human well-being.      Before joining the Conservancy in 2013, Yuta was a graduate student at the University of Washington where he did research on water infrastructure, time use, and gender in Ethiopia. Prior to that, he was a Peace Corps Volunteer in the Republic of Georgia and also worked at RTI International as a Health Economics Research Assistant. . . .

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