This week is Peace Corps Week!
This week, Feb. 23-March 3, is Peace Corps Week. A time to reflect on 48 years of international service by almost 200,000 U.S. Volunteers, and for Returned Peace Corps Volunteers to speak about their experiences in the corps with schools and community groups across the United States.
Check out Peace Corps Week events going on in your region. Also find out how the National Peace Corps Association — the independent group of RPCVS — is celebrating. Read what the national service Resource Center has on tap for Peace Corps Week, too.
I’ll be in Boston tomorrow and Washington Friday, talking about service at the Idealist.org Nonprofit Career Fairs. If you ask nicely, I’ll tell you all about my time in Peace Corps China. Also check out these Idealist podcast shows on Peace Corps: with Bonnie Thie, China Country Director; and Eileen Conoboy, former Director of the Office of University Programs.
For information about joining the Peace Corps, call 1-800-424-8580 (press 1) to speak to a local recruiter. To learn more about Peace Corps Week, call 1-800-424-8580 (press 2, then ext. 1961) or email pcweek [at] peacecorps.gov or visit the Peace Corps website.
Programs offer opportunities to ambitious public servants to combine graduate education with national or international service.
Last week I wrote about choosing between grad school and service if you are a rising college senior and facing the worst job market of your lifetime.
Some programs are specially designed to let you participate in both, simultaneously.
Consider the Master’s Community Development Program at SIT Graduate Institute in Brattleboro, VT, to serve as an AmeriCorps*VISTA as partial fulfillment of a graduate degree program. After completing the program’s coursework, students can participate in a VISTA year to fulfill practicum requirements–while paying 50 percent of the usual practicum fees. Students are responsible for ensuring the VISTA placement is relevant to their graduate degree (and an appropriate practicum).
Another prominent grad school – service partnership is that of Peace Corps’ university programs (of which SIT is also a partner). Peace Corps offers the Masters International program that allows incoming Volunteers to study for a year or two at a partner graduate institution, and then to participate for two years in Peace Corps in partial fulfillment of the graduate requirements. To learn more, check out the Peace Corps website, or listen to the Idealist podcast show featuring Peace Corps’ Eileen Conoboy on the topic.
Many teaching corps, such as Mississippi Teacher Corps, Chicago’s Inner City Teaching Corps, and NYC Teaching Fellows offer access to grad school — master’s degrees in education-related fields — to their participants.
If you are weighing your options and decide you truly want it all, go for it! Through these programs (and probably others — let me know) you can have the best of graduate education and service.
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Bonnie Thie, country director for Peace Corps’s China program, will speak in Seattle next week.
Thie and the Seattle Regional Recruitment Office director Eileen Conoboy will appear jointly at REI in downtown Seattle on Dec. 15.
Bonnie Thie, the Peace Corps’ country director in China, served in Peace Corps Afghanistan, where she served for three years in the 1970s. She served 18 years with the Environmental Protection Agency most recently as the director of policy, communications and resource management in the Office of Wetlands, Oceans and Watersheds in Washington, D.C. and in the EPA’s Seattle Air Quality Office, working with states, tribes and Environment Canada to protect and improve air quality in the Pacific Northwest and Alaska. After attending law school at the University of Oregon, she practiced law in Alaska, first in private practice and then as assistant attorney general for the state of Alaska, working on oil and gas leasing, as well as a range of municipal law and use issues. Her undergraduate degree is in history from the University of Washington, which is currently the #1 producer of Peace Corps volunteers in the nation.
Want to attend?
Monday, Dec. 15
6:30 – 8 p.m.
Peace Corps Speakers Series:
A Spotlight on Education Assignments in China
With Visiting Peace Corps Country Director Bonnie Thie
at REI (Flagship Store in Downtown Seattle)
222 Yale Ave. N
Seattle, WA 98109
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