2009.01.17: January 17, 2009: Headlines: COS - Zambia: Obama: Inauguration: Third Goal: Ithica Journal: Zambia RPCV Jarret Cassaniti to march as Peace Corps Volunteer in Obama Inauguration Parade

Peace Corps Online: Peace Corps News: Library: Peace Corps: President Obama: 2009.01.20: January 20, 2009: Headlines: NPCA' The Third Goal: Obama: CSPAN: The Peace Corps Community marches in Obama's Inaugural Parade : 2009.01.24: January 24, 2009: Headlines: COS - Estonia: Headlines: NPCA: The Third Goal: Obama: Uncornered Market: Estonia RPCV Audrey Scott writes: Marching in Obama's Inaugural Parade : 2009.01.17: January 17, 2009: Headlines: COS - Zambia: Obama: Inauguration: Third Goal: Ithica Journal: Zambia RPCV Jarret Cassaniti to march as Peace Corps Volunteer in Obama Inauguration Parade

By Admin1 (admin) (141.157.17.124) on Sunday, January 25, 2009 - 5:02 am: Edit Post

Zambia RPCV Jarret Cassaniti to march as Peace Corps Volunteer in Obama Inauguration Parade

Zambia RPCV Jarret Cassaniti  to march as Peace Corps Volunteer in Obama Inauguration Parade

As I checked my in-box this morning, an e-mail from my father directed me toward the Ithaca Journal story about Ithacan participation in the Presidential Inauguration. I had told him during the holidays I had won a lottery to march in the Inaugural Parade on behalf of the Peace Corps Community and, as is characteristic of him, he contacted the Ithaca Journal and they asked hear my story. As I prepare to march in the parade on Tuesday I know I am not only representing Peace Corps but also Ithaca and the entire Cassaniti family, including my grandmother Louise who in the year of my return showed me how to make papa's famous meatballs and took me to Immaculate Conception's Easter Seder.

Zambia RPCV Jarret Cassaniti to march as Peace Corps Volunteer in Obama Inauguration Parade

Ithaca, Peace Corps and the Inaugural Parade

Jarret Cassaniti Reader Submitted January 17, 2009

As I checked my in-box this morning, an e-mail from my father directed me toward the Ithaca Journal story about Ithacan participation in the Presidential Inauguration. I had told him during the holidays I had won a lottery to march in the Inaugural Parade on behalf of the Peace Corps Community and, as is characteristic of him, he contacted the Ithaca Journal and they asked hear my story. My full story involves my extended family including both grandmothers as well as the Ithaca community. It starts with the shaping of my worldview.
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My parents, Joe and Jackie Cassaniti, impressed upon my sisters and I that we are part of a much larger world. The Ithaca community was ever present in reinforcing this outlook. Cornell University, Ithaca College, and a populace from around the world were as instrumental in shaping my decision to join the Peace Corps upon completion of my Anthropology studies at the University of Vermont, as was my rearing.

After spending two years in Zambia as a Community Health Extension Agent I returned to Ithaca in 2005 and was eager to share my experience with the community that had nurtured my interest in public service, exploring other cultures, and embracing personal growth.

I found friendship in the Returned Peace Corps Volunteers of Ithaca, especially Ithaca native Margaret Meyers (Botswana 96-97) and Cornell students Jocelyn Getgen ( Ecuador 01-03), Brian White (Kyrgyzstan 01, Mongolia 02-04), and Brett Gleitsmann (Cote d'Ivoire). On the 45th Anniversary of the Peace Corps I collaborated with Jocelyn in sharing the Peace Corps experience at my former school and with my former teacher's class - Mrs. Rosenthal's of Dewitt Middle School. Brian and I co-wrote an opinion piece in the Ithaca Journal extolling the virtues of, as Barack Obama would have put it, hope over fear. Brett recruited me to speak on a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer (RPCV) panel to Cornell undergraduates preparing to work abroad. As the Peace Corps Cornell Recruitment Office Coordinator Brett also published a booklet of RPCV stories online which Margaret had edited and Elizabeth Rechtin designed and published in hard copy. Dad put me in touch with fellow Rotarian member Brad Carruth who invited me to speak at a Wednesday meeting. Last but not least, together with Brian, Margaret, Dad, and other members the Ithaca RPCV group, I marched in the Ithaca Parade (see attached photo).

These activities and events made me proud to be both a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer and an Ithacan. My integration back into the States was not complete though without the jobs that my uncles provided for me. I earned my keep working downtown at Uncle Lou's hot dog stand and with Uncle Bill as part of his property management business. This combination of being able to share my Peace Corps experience and re-join everyday life with loved ones in my home community provided all my needs.

As I prepare to march in the parade on Tuesday I know I am not only representing Peace Corps but also Ithaca and the entire Cassaniti family, including my grandmother Louise who in the year of my return showed me how to make papa's famous meatballs and took me to Immaculate Conception's Easter Seder.

------

I call this the beginning of my bit role in a watershed event in American history. I would like to follow this background with more information about the National Peace Corps Association, their role in the Parade, and hopes and expectations for the Obama administration in the context of my Global Fund work at Population Services International.

Signed

Jarret Cassaniti



Links to Related Topics (Tags):

Headlines: January, 2009; Peace Corps Zambia; Directory of Zambia RPCVs; Messages and Announcements for Zambia RPCVs; Presidents - Obama; Inauguration; The Third Goal; New York





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Story Source: Ithica Journal

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; COS - Zambia; Obama; Inauguration; Third Goal

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