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Wandering K
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Posted From:
Posted on Friday, February 20, 2009 - 11:51 am:   

I am an 18 year old female, and I am preparing to begin college in the fall. The school I have been accepted to is a work/service school, with a work requirement of 15 hours a week. Many of its graduates go on to join the Peace Corps or other service organizations.
I intend to major in environmental studies, and minor in philosophy or peace studies.
After graduating with a degree in 4 years, I plan on joining the Peace Corps. This is something that I have wanted for years, and I have spoken with many returned volunteers about what service entails. I am in excellent health, great physical shape, and mentally and emotionally strong.
However, I was arrested at the age of 17 for posession of a controlled substance.
I was not convicted or even tried; my case was deferred to juvenile arbitration. I served 20 hours of community service, attended a drug program, and I am still undergoing random drug testing and searches at school. (All clean.) The arrest should be expunged from my record within a few months.
Will my arrest be a major factor in deciding whether I am offered a position or not?
I don't have a preferred destination, and I have no reservations about serving in any particular region. I am passionate and enthusiastic about serving, for the life experiences and the chance to do some good for the world.
Unregistered guest
Posted From:
Posted on Tuesday, March 03, 2009 - 5:02 pm:   

it's sweet in a way to see your concern over this 'blotch' in your record. please don't take it too hard. i was also arrested at 17 for posession of 'drug paraphernalia' and had to perform some community service as well. this is not something you need to include in any job applications, and not for peace corps either. i was a peace corps volunteer in zambia (completed service a couple of years ago) and it was surely one of the best experiences in my life! your arrest should not weigh too heavily on your life. seriously. in the big picture this is nothing especially since it appears that you are not even (ab)using anymore.
to give you some perspective, during my service, i met a female dutch volunteer (working with a different organization) and we now live in amsterdam together with our young son. here in the netherlands, ít is allowed to purchase and use so-called 'soft drugs' like marijuana and mushrooms. after three years here, i can say that the VAST MAJORITY OF DUTCH PEOPLE DO NOT USE ANY DRUGS WHATSOEVER! once the taboo (and strict laws) are removed, people realize that while drugs may be interesting to experiment with, it's not such a big deal and the people generally leave them alone. funny, isn't it? the ridiculous laws they use to 'ruin our lives' in the States actually entice people to use drugs.
so please, wandering k, do not worry. as a minor you are not obliged to include any arrest on your job applications (for peace corps or otherwise) and furthermore, please just leave behind any mistakes you may have made in the past.


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