On Tuesday, the Peace Corps visited Weber State University at both the Ogden and Davis campuses to attract WSU students as volunteers.
Students were given the opportunity to learn more about the Peace Corps at sessions in the Wildcat Theater in the Shepherd Union Building and in Room 106 at the Davis campus.
Lara Vo, a WSU freshman majoring in elementary education, talked about why she wanted to join the Peace Corps.
“I actually just decided that I wanted to do something more than what I was already doing,” Vo said. “I decided I wanted to travel the world and help people.”
WSU senior Michelle Dowdle said her desire to join the Peace Corps is based on its compatibility with her major.
“I’m an anthropology major,” Dowdle said, “and anthropology and Peace Corps have a long history together traveling the world, integrating into a community for the long term and helping people is pretty much what anthropology is about, so I thought it would be a really great way to get my master’s program, as well as get some extra international experience.”
The Peace Corps currently operates in countries in South America, Africa and Asia, and works with governments and other organizations inside target countries to help combat social problems affecting those countries, such as hunger or lack of education. The presentations given at WSU helped students interested in volunteering know what is expected during the application process, how long the process will take, and what assets make volunteer applicants look desirable.
Anyone who is 18 years old or older is able to apply to the Peace Corps. Those who wish to apply to the Peace Corps are recommended to have some kind of volunteer experience or asset they could provide to one of the Peace Corps programs. Regional recruiter Erin Curtiss, who presented at the Davis campus session, said students might even want to wait until the end of their undergraduate phases to join the Peace Corps.
“I would say 90-95 percent of our students require a bachelor’s degree,” Curtiss said.
The Peace Corps has volunteer opportunities for nearly every major offered at WSU.
Those who have not gotten a bachelor’s degree but still want to join do have options. Those who have not yet finished their undergraduate can still be considered if they have had experience volunteering in teaching English, volunteering in HIV/AIDS outreach, have three months of full-time experience in agricultural work or six months of part-time experience, or have an associate’s degree in nursing along with professional experience.
The United States government established the Peace Corps in 1961. The Peace Corps’ mission consists of three goals: helping people of interested countries in meeting their need for trained men and women, helping to promote a better understanding of Americans on the part of those who are served, and promoting a better understanding of people in other parts of the world on the part of Americans.
More information about the Peace Corps and its programs can be found at www.peacecorps.gov.