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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