2011.03.02: March 2, 2011: Robbie Schwartz writes: How would my life have been different if I had been among the more than 200,000 Americans who have served in the Peace Corps?

Peace Corps Online: Peace Corps News: Speaking Out: January 23, 2005: Index: PCOL Exclusive: Speaking Out (1 of 5) : Speaking Out - New Stories: 2011.03.02: March 2, 2011: Robbie Schwartz writes: How would my life have been different if I had been among the more than 200,000 Americans who have served in the Peace Corps?

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Robbie Schwartz writes: How would my life have been different if I had been among the more than 200,000 Americans who have served in the Peace Corps?

Robbie Schwartz writes: How would my life have been different if I had been among the more than 200,000 Americans who have served in the Peace Corps?

I had the information packet downloaded and filled it out along with graduate school applications to three schools. My thinking was to let fate decide: If I did not get into any of the three schools, I would venture into teaching English for the Peace Corps. The Peace Corps took the early lead when I received the denial letter from my first choice, the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill. Then I was accepted to the University of Georgia and the University of Maryland, both with nationally recognized programs. Now I was faced with the decision that has since affected the rest of my life. I opted for UGA, ended up meeting my wife and starting a career, and I call Georgia home now. And while I do not have regrets about the decision I made, I am always left wondering what could have been especially as much is being said in the press now the organization is celebrating its 50th birthday. How would my life have been different if I had been among the more than 200,000 Americans who have served in the Peace Corps? I have been fortunate in that I am afforded the opportunity to renew my appreciation for the world every other year as my wife and I venture to see her family in Malaysia. Even as a tourist, it is hard not to feel impacted by seeing other cultures. I could only imagine what it would have been like to have been immersed in a different culture for more than two years.

Robbie Schwartz writes: How would my life have been different if I had been among the more than 200,000 Americans who have served in the Peace Corps?

Happy birthday, Peace Corps

Posted: Wednesday, March 2, 2011 1:00 pm | Updated: 1:51 pm, Wed Mar 2, 2011.

Happy birthday, Peace Corps By Robbie Schwartz WaltonTribune.com | 0 comments

It was an interesting time in my life, facing graduation from college. Though I had worked for my college newspaper for much of my senior year, I was not quite sold on it as my future profession. A few months before I was to receive my degree, I was debating testing the job market (though with little job experience, was somewhat hesitant about this), going back to school for my master's degree in either technical writing or mass communication, or joining the Peace Corps.

From the onset, I was most excited about joining the Peace Corps. I was tired of school and ready to do something anything. I can't remember the exact location I was destined to go, but I am pretty sure it was southeast Asia somewhere. I had done some traveling throughout my life, visiting the Caribbean during college and having been to a handful of countries in western Europe playing soccer in high school. But to open my life to a whole new world of understanding appealed to my rampant idealistic side at the time.

I had the information packet downloaded and filled it out along with graduate school applications to three schools. My thinking was to let fate decide: If I did not get into any of the three schools, I would venture into teaching English for the Peace Corps.

The Peace Corps took the early lead when I received the denial letter from my first choice, the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill. Then I was accepted to the University of Georgia and the University of Maryland, both with nationally recognized programs. Now I was faced with the decision that has since affected the rest of my life.

I opted for UGA, ended up meeting my wife and starting a career, and I call Georgia home now. And while I do not have regrets about the decision I made, I am always left wondering what could have been especially as much is being said in the press now the organization is celebrating its 50th birthday. How would my life have been different if I had been among the more than 200,000 Americans who have served in the Peace Corps?

Because of this organization, I think there is a greater understanding of the world around us from those who return from this experience not only for the work they did in helping better the world but also for bringing back a unique perspective. They serve as a balance to the people whom I have met in this job who have never left the state. There is a favorite quote of mine related to this, by the Christian theologian and bishop of Hippo Saint Augstine, that says: "The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page."

I have been fortunate in that I am afforded the opportunity to renew my appreciation for the world every other year as my wife and I venture to see her family in Malaysia. Even as a tourist, it is hard not to feel impacted by seeing other cultures. I could only imagine what it would have been like to have been immersed in a different culture for more than two years.

So happy birthday Peace Corps, and here's to hoping the powers that be allow you to impact the world for another 50 years.




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Story Source: Walton Tribune

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; Speaking Out

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