I’ve dreamed about joining the Peace Corps since I first learned about its mission when I was 15 years old. Yesterday, I received my nomination for service. The dream has been realized.
Truth is, service has always been more important to me than anything else. Helping others and pushing for change are the most gratifying parts of my life. So, for me, having a job where I can devote myself to bettering the lives of people in a developing country and promote a dialogue between my culture and theirs for 27 months has always seemed ideal.
Of course, not everyone I’ve met shares this vision. My doctor asked me recently, “How do your parents feel about you not getting a real job after graduation and being able to support yourself?” They are really proud of me, thanks for asking, and so have the vast majority of my friends and family who support me on a daily basis.
I’ve been on an emotional rollercoaster throughout this entire process, and it’s not going to get any easier. I know my service in the Peace Corps will test me in ways I can’t even imagine — but I am ready and eager for the adventure.
Here is part of an essay I wrote for my Peace Corps application:
I have never lived in the same place for very long. I used to hate that. I used to hate that I don’t have a traditional “hometown” or a distinct calling to one area of the United States or that I always seemed to be the “new kid.” Now it’s one of the things that I love most about myself. I am a product of so many different cities, towns, states, cultures and countries. I learn best by doing – and I become a better person with each move that I have made. I’ve never stayed in the same place for long, and I don’t see that changing any time soon. I am becoming a citizen of the world. I don’t know where I’m going or where I want to live, but that’s part of the wonder and excitement I am most looking forward to about joining the Peace Corps and entering the field of international development. The shock and awe of a new place and a new adventure will never get old for me.
The Peace Corps is a perfect combination of my lifelong passions. I have always known that I wanted to dedicate my life to service. I was encouraged by my parents at a young age to give back to my community and learn about the world around me. As a senior at American University, I have spent my college career working towards a degree in International Development, specializing in Sub-Saharan Africa, honing in on my passion for human rights and educational development. I am excited to be a Peace Corps Volunteer because I fully embrace any experience that will help me grow as a person – professionally, individually, educationally, and more – even if it puts me out of my comfort zone. Spending a semester abroad at the University of Cape Town in South Africa was one of the best experiences of my life because I had so many of these opportunities to grow. I am so eager to begin my next journey in the field of international development by serving in the Peace Corps.
Thank you to all who have reached out to me with the utmost love since my announcement, I can’t wait to share my journey with you.