The best thing about the world is that there are never-ending surprises and adventures. I love learning and am always fascinated with what I can uncover. Growing up I thought biology was what I needed to satisfy my curiosity. However, I learned during my adolescence that it is human nature, behavior, and culture that keeps me in awe. It is this curiosity that always kept me searching for new interactions. I love to live and can not think of anything better than to live to love. We may come from different customs etc., but we are more alike then we realize. These innate feelings I had about people, their culture, and the issues they faced lead me to a Masters degree in clinical social work. This was the perfect area for me to explore various international topics ranging from empathy to international development.
Since I can remember I took high interest in the lives of others from far away places. I dreamed of traveling and experiencing new ways of life. I did not want to travel to be just a tourist. I wanted to always incorporate a cross cultural experience in all my voyages. However, before I was able to start traveling and fully immersing myself; I participated in several domestic volunteering activities. I started my official community service career at 13 years young. I simply felt I was too “old” for summer camp and wanted to have other experiences. Therefore, I decided to start volunteering with the Howard County Recreation and Parks in Maryland. From then on, every summer I choose a different event, group, or activity to volunteer with. This eventually grew into a strong passion for challenges people face around the world.
By the time I graduated from high school, I had volunteered in different activities such as Christmas in April, and the Prince George’s County Peer Advisory. In college and graduate school I continued my community service, but started to wonder how I could expand my domestic volunteerism globally. In grad school I was part of the International Social Work Committee which brought me close to international social issues. I participated in events that introduced cross cultural cuisine, and campaigned in the fundraising event “Stop the Genocide In Sudan!”
Although, this was rewarding and satisfying, it really just created a stronger urge to travel and have cross-cultural experiences first hand. I pondered how I could make this happen and therefore, started my research into international volunteering and cross- cultural programs. I joined Servas international and made two trips as a Servas traveler once to Bermuda and to Kenya. Those were short trips and I still craved more. I reflected on what I really wanted to do and learn in an overseas volunteering program and that is when I realized that Peace Corps was the perfect fit. I knew of Peace Corps from years earlier, plus I have a good number of friends that are Returned Peace Corps Volunteers. In order to prepare for the twenty-seven month commitment, I organized a self-made summer abroad trip. I visited Kenya, Cape Verdé, France, Italy, and Tanzania. After that summer, I was sure that I could live abroad. I sent in my Peace Corps application and was later accepted. My assignment took me to Burkina Faso, West Africa as a Community Organizer with specialization in education and youth.
It was during my service that I decided I have the capabilities, drive, and passion to help people around the world in meaningful projects that make a difference in their lives. So this is where I am today- taking my love of life, people, and culture and creating projects that benefit the lives of all of us.
think global live global!