February 15, 2003 - Oshkosh Northwestern: Tracy Wrolson heading for Ukraine in Peace Corps

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Tracy Wrolson heading for Ukraine in Peace Corps

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Employee leaves for Peace Corps*

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Employee leaves for Peace Corps
Northwestern manager leaves for the Ukraine

By Jim Collar
of the Northwestern

An Oshkosh man is giving up most of his possessions and heíll soon give up all that heís accustomed to.

Itís part adventure. Itís also the ultimate volunteer opportunity. Tracy Wrolson understands he has plenty to gain personally in the next two years as a United States Peace Corps volunteer.

ďIím a single guy and have nothing to lose,Ē he said. ďI wanted to give something back and share my knowledge. Iím doing it more for the human aspect than the American aspect.Ē

Wrolson, online production manager for Gannett Wisconsin Newspapers, worked his last day at The Northwestern building on Friday. In early March, heíll grab two bags and board a plane for a new life in the Ukraine as a member of the Peace Corps. Once acclimated to life in Eastern Europe, Wrolson will send stories to The Northwestern chronicling his work.

Wrolsonís decision to join the Peace Corps wasnít a hasty one. The application process takes about a year. The decision surprisingly wasnít a difficult one, he said.

Wrolson, 29, holds bachelorís and masterís degrees in business. In the Ukraine, he will work as a consultant to businesses in a city of 100,000 or more.

Itís a chance to both teach and learn, he said. The Peace Corps began sending its volunteers to Eastern Europe following the fall of communism, and the region is still becoming accustomed to life and business in a capitalist system, he said.

Right now, Wrolson only knows that heíll fly from Chicago to the Ukrainian capital of Kiev.

From there, heíll move in with a host family in the region for three months of language and culture training. Heíll then begin his volunteer work. Business leaders in the Ukraine could seek his help in a variety of different areas from accounting to production.

Wrolsonís journey begins today. The first step is saying that difficult goodbye to life in the United States.

Wrolson will bring two bags of clothes with him and plans to ship a few small boxes. The rest of his possessions are going to friends and charities. He said it should be interesting to return to the United States and start fresh with nothing.

Heís still not sure when that return will be. Heís only thinking about the adventure ahead during his initial commitment of two years and three months.

ďMaybe Iíll be ready to return after that, or maybe Iíll be ready to go somewhere else,Ē he said.

Jim Collar: (920) 426-6676 or jcollar@smgpo.gannett.com
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This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; COS - Ukraine; Recruitment; Special Interests - Journalism



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