NextPCVs

Meet the newest WestCoast Peace Corps volunteers


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Jeff Crooks of Elko Selected for Youth Development Assignment in Peru

NAME: Jeff Crooks
AGE: 23
HOMETOWN: Elko, Nev.
ALMA MATER: University of Nevada, Reno, Class of 2009 (Geography)

COUNTRY OF SERVICE: Peru
ASSIGNMENT: Youth Development Facilitator
DEPARTURE DATE: June 2011

WHAT MOTIVATED YOU TO BECOME A PEACE CORPS VOLUNTEER? Growing up I always heard incredible stories from those who had previously served in the Peace Corps, and it was always something I knew I wanted to do. I was attracted to joining the Peace Corps for the opportunity to experience a new culture and learn a new language, while gaining valuable experience in volunteering with disadvantaged youth.

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Amy Harris of San Francisco Selected for Business Assignment in Georgia

NAME: Amy Harris
AGE: 37
HOMETOWN: Noxen, Pa. (hometown) and San Francisco (current city)

ALMA MATER:
University of Oregon, Class of 1998 (Cultural Anthropology & English)

COUNTRY OF SERVICE: Republic of Georgia
ASSIGNMENT: Business and Social Entrepreneurship Facilitator
DEPARTURE DATE: April 2011

WHAT MOTIVATED YOU TO BECOME A PEACE CORPS VOLUNTEER? I have a lot of love and support from my family and friends. When I was just 15, I was a Rotary International Exchange Student to the Philippines and that experience opened my eyes to a world view I hadn’t previously experienced. My parents also lead by example and taught me the value of volunteerism and giving to one’s community. I discovered the Peace Corps in high school when my mother talked to me about wanting to apply back in the 60’s. While I had hoped to apply right after college, that’s not how things worked out. However, I’m thrilled to be serving now because I think that my life experiences will help me to be a better volunteer.

I’ve worked in the non-profit sector since 1999. For the past three years I have been the Development Director for the best breast cancer organization on the planet, Breast Cancer Action. I have also been the co-owner and business manager for a private record label. In my free time I love cooking and hosting parties for my friends, camping, hiking, jumping off rocks into rivers, singing loudly whist driving, dancing, and just being.

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Melissa Ng of San Jose Selected for NGO Development Assignment in Belize

NAME: Melissa Ng
AGE: 23
HOMETOWN: San Jose, Calif.
ALMA MATER: UC Santa Cruz, Class of 2009 (German Studies & Education);
Peace Corps Master’s International Candidate: Monterey Institute of International Studies (MPA, International Development) 

COUNTRY OF SERVICE: Belize
ASSIGNMENT: NGO Development Adviser
DEPARTURE DATE: March 2011

WHAT MOTIVATED YOU TO BECOME A PEACE CORPS VOLUNTEER? I have been interested in Human Rights and International Development throughout my undergraduate career. I found out about the Peace Corps Masters International program while studying at the Monterey Institute. It is the perfect opportunity to use the skills I have developed throughout my graduate school career and apply them in the field. What also attracted me to the Peace Corps was the opportunity to learn a new language and immerse myself in a new culture.

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Kristin Calille of Westlake Village Selected for Education Assignment in Ukraine

NAME: Kristin Calille
AGE: 22
HOMETOWN: Westlake Village, Calif.
ALMA MATER: UC Santa Barbara, Class of 2010 (Psychology and Education)

COUNTRY OF SERVICE: Ukraine
ASSIGNMENT: English Education
DEPARTURE DATE: March 2011

WHAT MOTIVATED YOU TO BECOME A PEACE CORPS VOLUNTEER? Sustainable change begins by long-term relationships and the Peace Corps represents exactly the long-term, positive change I believe is effective and I hope to see more in the world; peace, friendship, and prosperity. I’m excited to travel and learn from different cultures as well as be a part of the Peace Corps family. While attending college, I led a health education campaign directed toward students struggling with high-risk drugs. I love helping others and being active in my community!

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Stacey Neilson of San Diego Selected for Health Assignment in Malawi

NAME: Stacey Neilson
AGE: 22
HOMETOWN: San Diego, Calif.

ALMA MATER: Emory University, Class of 2010 (Neuroscience and Behavioral Biology)

COUNTRY OF SERVICE: Malawi
ASSIGNMENT: Health Community Advisor
DEPARTURE DATE: February 2011

WHAT MOTIVATED YOU TO BECOME A PEACE CORPS VOLUNTEER? I first heard about the Peace Corps from my camp counselor when I was 10 years old and always said that’s what I’d do after college. Now that I’ve finally graduated I can’t think of a better use of my time and a better way to challenge myself. I’m looking forward to hopefully making a difference while having a once-in-a-lifetime adventure.

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Christopher Lorenz of San Francisco Selected for Education Assignment in Bulgaria

NAME: Christopher Lorenz
AGE: 22
HOMETOWN: San Francisco

ALMA MATER: UC Davis, Class of 2010 (History and American Studies)

COUNTRY OF SERVICE: Bulgaria
ASSIGNMENT: Secondary English Teacher
DEPARTURE DATE: March 2011

QUESTION OF THE MONTH:
WHAT MOTIVATED YOU TO BECOME A PEACE CORPS VOLUNTEER? I wanted to begin my life after college as a Peace Corps volunteer and enjoy in a unique experience. I wanted to be a teacher, learn a different language, experience a culture unlike my own and participate in an organization that builds strong international ties.

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Roland Perez of San Francisco Selected for Education Assignment in Cape Verde

NAME: Roland Perez
AGE: 55
HOMETOWN: San Francisco

ALMA MATER: University of Pheonix, Class of 1996

COUNTRY OF SERVICE: Cape Verde
ASSIGNMENT: Vocational Instructor
DEPARTURE DATE: July 2011

WHAT MOTIVATED YOU TO BECOME A PEACE CORPS VOLUNTEER? The Peace Corps provides technical assistance to countries that request it by sharing America’s most precious resources – its people. The Peace Corps has helped local communities in 139 countries build a better life through the work of its volunteers. The Peace Corps is a government agency promoting world peace and friendship through the work of its volunteers. It would be an honor to serve my country and be a part of the 200,000 men and women that have served in the Peace Corps.

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Nicolette Ulrich Selected for Environmental Education Assignment in Senegal

NAME: Nicolette Ulrich
AGE: 22
HOMETOWN: Huntington Beach, Calif.

ALMA MATER: California State University Long Beach, Class of 2010

COUNTRY OF SERVICE: Senegal
ASSIGNMENT: Environment Education
DEPARTURE DATE: March 2011

WHAT MOTIVATED YOU TO BECOME A PEACE CORPS VOLUNTEER? I wanted to join to Peace Corps because I think it is an amazing opportunity to go out and live in another country, learn another language, and give back. I have always been a travel bug, and I was able to do some AIDS awareness work in South Africa a couple of year ago. That trip motivated me to look more seriously into the Peace Corps, and here I am.

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Brienne Burd of Kailua Selected for Agriculture Assignment in Jamaica

NAME: Brienne Burd
AGE: 26
HOMETOWN: Kailua, Hawaii

ALMA MATER: University of Hawaii at Manoa, Class of 2009 (Peace and Conflict Studies)

COUNTRY OF SERVICE: Jamaica
ASSIGNMENT: Agro forestry advisor
DEPARTURE DATE: June 2011

WHAT MOTIVATED YOU TO BECOME A PEACE CORPS VOLUNTEER? Getting experience working in agriculture with a different culture. The positive career steps as well. And…. the adventure!

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Jennifer Kim of San Diego Selected for Education Assignment in Indonesia

NAME: Jennifer Kim
AGE: 24
HOMETOWN: San Diego, Calif.

ALMA MATER: UC San Diego, M.Ed. 2009

COUNTRY OF SERVICE: Indonesia
ASSIGNMENT: English Education
DEPARTURE DATE: April 2011

WHAT MOTIVATED YOU TO BECOME A PEACE CORPS VOLUNTEER? Peace Corps has been tugging at my heart since I was young: new people, new culture, new language, new adventure. I’m drawn to the notion that one person can do his or her small part at chipping away at the walls that stand between countries. Education is a grand passion of mine. There are many schools out there that are not addressing the issues of social injustice when in comes to the quality of education that some students receive. As long as those types of schools exist, I’ll be working in education.

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