Making a difference

After learning about the Peace Corps in high school, I knew it was something I wanted to pursue.

I contemplated going into the Peace Corps before college and getting my degree afterwards. With my application started, my recruiter told me although people age 18 are eligible for the Peace Corps, I wouldn’t get in without a degree.

I stopped my application, which takes about eight hours to complete, and focused on getting ready for college.

As a sophomore, I’ve spent much of my time focused on my schooling and have bounced back and forth with what I’d like to do after college. I know I want to go to graduate school, but the Peace Corps has always been in the back of my mind. It wasn’t until last week that I learned people can pursue their master’s degree and the Peace Corps at the same time.

I think the Peace Corps is perfect for anyone who wants to make a change in the world. Although this organization has been around since 1961, many people don’t understand what exactly it is.
A friend of mine thought it was where people stood around and held signs asking for peace.

The Peace Corps’ mission is to promote world peace and friendship. Participants go to another country for two years to volunteer. There is intense culture and language training for three months, and then the volunteers are off on their own, assisting their new city or village within six areas of expertise.

We need programs like the Peace Corps to break down cultural barriers. Not only are volunteers promoting peace throughout the world, they are bridging cultures and connecting the world.

A question I often hear is, “Is the Peace Corps making an impact?” Although I’ve heard varied responses and have not yet served in the Corps myself, my view is that one person can always make an impact. If the mission to promote peace and understanding is sought after, there will be an impact made. I don’t think the question should be “Is the Peace Corps making an impact?” It should be “How has the Peace Corps made an impact?”

I hope I can make an impact in the Peace Corps on someone’s life if that ends up being the path I choose.

Anyone interested in any sort of volunteering should at least check out the Peace Corps. I had no idea something like this existed until I watched a Peace Corps video that changed the path I wanted to take for my future.