Peace Corps Week began with “A Peace Corps Tip or Two,” a discussion panel where prospective volunteers met with former volunteers to learn about service life abroad. Image By: Jessie Gallimore
Peace Corps Week began with “A Peace Corps Tip or Two,” a discussion panel where prospective volunteers met with former volunteers to learn about service life abroad. Throughout the event, returned volunteers reflected on their experiences, explaining how their volunteer experiences impacted their lives.
Rochelle Goedken, a returned volunteer who served for three years in Lesotho, said the Peace Corps made her life “richer.” Goedken noted her time in Lesotho gave her a perspective on life that she would not have otherwise gained.
“When you open yourselves up to other ways of looking at the world, it leads to more innovation and more understanding between people that share this one planet we have,” she said.
Heather Hempel Gomez, another returned volunteer who served in Bulgaria, encouraged students to join the Peace Corps. Gomez said the experience is a one-of-a-kind opportunity, adding the “pros far outweigh the cons.”
“You’ll never regret it, because everything will be here when you get back,” she said. “It’s an opportunity that you should not give up. It’s a chance for adventure, travel and learning about the world.”
Recently, UW-Madison ranked first among large universities in the number of volunteers worldwide for the second consecutive year. Since the founding of the Peace Corps in 1961, 3,279 volunteers from UW-Madison have served communities around the world, and there are currently 85 Badgers volunteering worldwide.
According to Peace Corps Recruiter Kate Schachter, it’s important for students interested in the Peace Corps to engage in meaningful volunteer work and gain experience with diverse cultures.
UW-Madison will continue to celebrate Peace Corps week through other recruiting and educational opportunities.
“Kiribati: Voices From the Last Generation” will be shown at the Marquee Theatre in Union South on Tuesday. Other events include a Motivation Statement writing workshop Wednesday, a Peace Corps Open House Thursday and the Freeze for Food Walk/Run on Saturday.