January 1, 2003 - Pioneer Press Online: Kate Dunne to be volunteer in South America

Peace Corps Online: Peace Corps News: Headlines: Peace Corps Headlines - 2003: 01 January 2003 Peace Corps Headlines: January 1, 2003 - Pioneer Press Online: Kate Dunne to be volunteer in South America

By Admin1 (admin) on Saturday, January 04, 2003 - 4:30 pm: Edit Post

Kate Dunne to be volunteer in South America

Read and comment on this story from Pioneer Press Online on Kate Dunne who applied to the Peace Corps, which currently has volunteers in 72 countries, in May 2002. The process involved an application, three references, an interview, a recruiter’s nomination, medical history and a background check. Dunne was able to successfully complete the process in three months. Read the story at:

Oak Park native set to tackle new challenge*

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Oak Park native set to tackle new challenge


Kate Dunne didn’t just wake up one morning and decide it was a good day to sign up with the Peace Corps.

A longing to help others in need started when Dunne participated in the Appalachian Service Project as a freshman at Oak Park-River Forest High School.

Dunne, who participated in ASP through her church (Ascension in Oak Park), spent 10 days in each of four summers helping low-income people in 22 different locations in central Appalachia (West Virginia, Kentucky, Virginia and Tennessee) by building/repairing homes.

A commitment to serve continued after the 1998 OPRF graduate enrolled at Wooster College (Ohio).

While at Wooster the 21-year-old Dunne volunteered with Planned Parenthood, Amnesty International and was president of the Women’s Athletic and Recreation Association.

She also excelled as a college athlete and student prior to graduating from Wooster in May 2002 with a degree in international relations.

Dunne, who had a 3.396 grade-point average, was named to the National Field Hockey Coaches Association All-American teams in 2000 and 2001.

She also received the Manges Award as Wooster’s top senior female athlete.

Dunne was recognized for her work in the classroom, athletic field and in the community by being named the 2002 NCAA Women of the Year for the state of Ohio.

The award, in its 12th year, honors a female student/athlete from each state and the District of Columbia based on academics, athletics and community service.

The award includes a $5,000 postgraduate scholarship which Dunne plans to use after returning from the Peace Corps. Her graduate studies will be in the health field.

“I was very excited about (receiving) the award,” Dunne said. “A Division III school offers an opportunity to participate in so many things (such as) studying abroad, athletics, organizations.

“I was always busy. I made a lot of lists of what I needed to do and that helped keep me on track. You make it work (if you want). It was all a lot of fun.”

Dunne is the third athlete from Wooster to receive the NCAA award since 1998.

“This is a nice topper for (Dunne’s) career,” said Wooster field hockey coach and assistant athletic director Brenda Meese. “Everything she’s done here from athletics to academics to extracurricular activities goes into this award.”

Dunne applied to the Peace Corps, which currently has volunteers in 72 countries, in May 2002.

The process involved an application, three references, an interview, a recruiter’s nomination, medical history and a background check.

Dunne was able to successfully complete the process in three months.

“The process went pretty fast for me,” Dunne said. “It all depends when you apply and getting everything in on time.”

Dunne leaves for her two-year Peace Corps assignment, somewhere in Latin America, in January. Her work will be with health education.

Dunne, who is seven years younger than the average Peace Corps volunteer, will have a three-month orientation period before being sent off to a village or city in Latin America.

The orientation will prepare Dunne for the living and working conditions in a specific country.

No Peace Corps volunteer receives a salary. Dunne will receive a stipend to cover basic necessities (food, housing, local transportation). Medical care is also provided.

At the end of the two-year period Dunne will receive a “readjustment allowance” of $225 for each month served up to $6,075.

“It probably will be (tough being away from home) the first couple weeks,” said Dunne, who studied for six months in Spain her junior year at Wooster. “Once I get into a groove things will be OK.

“I've considered (volunteer work with the Peace Corps) most of my life. I've always had an interest in doing work in a developing country. The Peace Corps provides an opportunity to see if this is what I really want to do.”

Dunne will have two months’ vacation time while in the Peace Corps.

“We certainly didn’t suggest (the Peace Corps) but we’re very proud of her for doing it,” Dunne’s father Tom said.

“(ASP is) where this (helping people) developed. Kate feels there’s a need to get things done. It gives her a sense of the world and what the needs are.

“I think she will do very well. It’s going to be a wonderful experience, a tough experience.”

Dunne played field hockey all four years at Wooster and was the first Wooster player to be on the North Coast Atlantic Conference team all four years. She was the NCAC defensive player of the year in 2000.

She was also a three-time selection to the NFHCA Great Lakes Region team.

“Someday I'd like to coach field hockey at the high school or college level,” Dunne said.
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By Donald Scarinci (cache-rtc-aa07.proxy.aol.com - on Tuesday, November 21, 2006 - 7:24 am: Edit Post

My 16 year old is looking to spend a few months in South America working or helping in an area that needs help. She is looking for immersion in the spanish language and culture. Any thoughts or suggestions?

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