February 18, 2002 - Las Vegas Review-Journal: Las Vegan follows his principles, serves in Peace Corps

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By Admin1 (admin) on Wednesday, February 20, 2002 - 9:44 am: Edit Post

Las Vegan follows his principles, serves in Peace Corps

Read and comment on this story from the Las Vegas Review-Journal on RPCV LeRoy Barton who recently received a Franklin award from the US Peace Corps for his volunteer service in Botswana and Lesotho at:

Las Vegan follows his principles, serves in Peace Corps *

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Las Vegan follows his principles, serves in Peace Corps

Feb 18, 2002 - Las Vegas Review-Journal Author(s): Deana Di Dio



When LeRoy Barton's children went to college, he decided to "give them some space." But Barton's space was probably more than other parents' -- he joined the Peace Corps and went to Africa.

"I had to find something to do. (The Peace Corps) had the values that I believed in," Barton, 69, explains. "This is something I just wanted to do. Most Peace Corps volunteers are idealists, and my personality fit that."

Barton, of Las Vegas, was among 11 other community leaders who received the Franklin H. Williams award on Feb. 7 at the third annual ceremony in Washington, D.C. The award recognizes "outstanding ethnically diverse" people who have served as Peace Corps Volunteers.

Barton, retired from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, taught horticulture and biology for academic and practical purposes. He taught in Botswana from 1986-1989, and after returning to the United States for five months, he went on another three-year assignment teaching agriculture and science in Lesotho from 1989-1993.

He says volunteers give the people they work with a favorable opinion of Americans and he thinks joining the organization is one of the greatest experiences Americans can have.

Barton, who had dreams of becoming a doctor when he was younger, is helping others follow their dreams. Eleven students of his from both countries have become doctors.

"This is what the Peace Corps does," he says. "The good feeling we get when the people we work with come out on top."

Barton is president of the Southern Nevada Peace Corps Association, organizing past volunteers to speak at local schools.

"We give them firsthand knowledge of those countries," he says. "We've been there, we've seen it a little differently."

He also volunteers with the International Student Association at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, helping foreign students adapt to American culture.

"When I worked overseas I imagined what those students would feel like in our culture," he says. "I enjoy helping them adjust to it."

Although he continues to volunteer, Barton has to wait for spring break in order for him to take his next trip. Already having a master's degree in biology and horticulture, he is continuing his education at UNLV in the liberal arts.

And he hopes to remain active, working and volunteering for as long as he can.

"I am going to do volunteer work as long as I am able to do it," he says. "If you stay active, you are able to keep going longer."

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This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; RPCV News - What RPCVs are doing today; Service; Botswana; Lesotho



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