October 24, 2002 - LA Times: Director Vasquez delivers powerful message to 1,700 students at Corona del Mar High School

Peace Corps Online: Peace Corps News: Headlines: Peace Corps Headlines - 2002: 10 October 2002 Peace Corps Headlines: October 24, 2002 - LA Times: Director Vasquez delivers powerful message to 1,700 students at Corona del Mar High School

By Admin1 (admin) on Thursday, October 24, 2002 - 2:43 pm: Edit Post

Director Vasquez delivers powerful message to 1,700 students at Corona del Mar High School

Caption: Gaddi Vasquez talks at a Corona del Mar High student assembly about his work as Director of the Peace Corps.

Read and comment on this excerpt from a story in the LA Times on Peace Corps Director Gaddi Vasquez's recent appearance at Corona del Mar High School in Newport Beach, California at their third annual Community Service Day where he spoke to 1,700 high school students.

Having heard the Director speak now five times, we can testify from experience that he can be a riveting speaker and that he has incorporated anecdotes from his four trips overseas for the Peace Corps to produce a powerful message. Here's hoping that his plan to re-acquaint the American people with the Peace Corps is successful and that it bears fruit in increased recruitment.

Read the full story at:

Promoting service*

* This link was active on the date it was posted. PCOL is not responsible for broken links which may have changed.

Promoting service

* Peace Corps Director Gaddi Vasquez explains his work and the work of others around the world to about 1,700 Corona del Mar High students

By June Casagrande, Daily Pilot

A uniform hush fell over all 1,700 high school students as the news sank in: 25% of all Afghanistan children won't live to see age 5.

Masterfully drawing such contrasts between the peace and privilege of Newport Beach life and the rest of the world, Peace Corps Director Gaddi Vasquez delivered a powerful message at Corona del Mar High School's third annual Community Service Day. The showcase of volunteer opportunities brought representatives of nearly two dozen community and social service agencies to the school, whose graduating class last year dedicated more than 20,000 hours of community service.

Keynote speaker Vasquez called on students to do even more to help people whose lives are very different from their own. Himself an Orange County native, Vasquez proudly recited the area's blessings: excellent schools, good health care, a high standard of living with many comforts and luxuries.

"Most people in the world go to sleep hungry. Would we accept that in Orange County?" Vasquez asked. "We need to help those who are hungry and impoverished and ailing."

Vasquez, a former Orange County supervisor, emphasized that there are many ways a student can make a difference in their own communities or in places abroad. And now, he said, it's more important than ever.

"Sept. 11 changed everything. It changed how we live as Americans. It changed how the world views us."

He recounted a story from his recent visit to Morocco, where he met a young man interested to know more about America. At one point, the young man noted that Vasquez, a son of Latino immigrants, didn't look American.

"That tells me that we have to do a better job of showing the world what America's all about. The world needs to know that Americans come in all colors and races," he said.

* JUNE CASAGRANDE covers Newport Beach and John Wayne Airport. She may be reached at (949) 574-4232 or by e-mail at june.casagrande@latimes.com.

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