March 3, 2004 - Reno Gazette-Journal: New generation`s interest piqued by Peace Corps

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New generation`s interest piqued by Peace Corps

New generation`s interest piqued by Peace Corps

New generation`s interest piqued by Peace Corps

Carla Roccapriore
3/3/2004 10:52 pm

The ways Western African nations are evolving interested Edwin Ilarina enough to prompt an inquiry Wednesday about joining the Peace Corps, which could allow him to live and work in such places.

“I think it’s because they’re developing nations, and it’s interesting to be part of a developing third world country after colonialization,” said Ilarina, 24, a psychology major at the University of Nevada, Reno. “To be a responsible global citizen, you need to act on certain needs.”

Peace Corps representatives on Wednesday set up a recruiting table at a job fair at Truckee Meadows Community College and will be at UNR and REI sporting goods store today recruiting volunteers.

Regional recruiter Sandi Swiderski said the organization has about 7,500 volunteers in 70 nations. The group began 43 years ago as a way to strengthen friendship between Americans and people of other countries.

The U.S.-led war in Iraq and unrest in other nations has potential volunteers nervous but just as many think it’s important to work abroad and help put a face on Americans, said Swiderski, who worked four years in Ethiopia in the 1960s.

“Because Peace Corps volunteers are always invited, they get a good reception,” Swiderski said.

But a series of articles in the Dayton Daily News in 2003 prompted a public debate among volunteers about the relative safety of some assignments and the level of training and supervision for such assignments.

More than 2,900 Peace Corps volunteers have reported being assaulted since 1990, and 250 have been killed since the organization was launched.

But it hasn’t dampened the group’s recruiting.

Although many volunteers are required to have four-year degrees, Swiderski said people with associates degrees also are needed to work in fields such as technology, business, computers, agriculture and environmental science.

TMCC student Kari Darden said she inquired about the Peace Corps because she wants to teach in a Spanish-speaking country.

“We have it so good here and it would be nice to help out people who don’t have it so good elsewhere and to get a different perspective,” said Darden, 30, an accounting major.

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Story Source: Reno Gazette-Journal

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; Recruitment; Safety and Security of Volunteers



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