May 20, 2003 - Howard University: Quentin Baldwin, PCV Nicaragua

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Nicaragua: Peace Corps Nicaragua: The Peace Corps in Nicaragua: May 20, 2003 - Howard University: Quentin Baldwin, PCV Nicaragua

By Admin1 (admin) on Tuesday, May 20, 2003 - 5:44 pm: Edit Post

Quentin Baldwin, PCV Nicaragua

Quentin Baldwin, PCV Nicaragua

“A person needs to do the thing he or she is passionate about.”

That is the view of a mid-90s HU grad who already has done two years in the Peace Corps, sampled “the world of work,” and is now pursuing a master’s degree in international relations at Johns Hopkins University (SAIS). The HU alum is preparing for a “real” career of some kind “which will be enjoyable and at the same time useful.”

“That just might be diplomatic service,” he says.

Quentin T. Baldwin, a Salem, Alabama, native, was graduated from Howard in 1995. He was a political science major and a business minor. Among his campus activities was the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, which he joined in 1994.

Upon graduation, Quentin said, he was “frightened” by the notion of a lifetime of nothing but work looming ahead. “I said to myself, ‘There must

be something different and better’.” A large part of it, he continued, was self-discovery: ‘What do I want to do with my life?’

He chose the Peace Corps. After a period of training, Quentin was sent as a health volunteer to Nicaragua, where he engaged in community organization work in a small town called Camoapa. He worked with people in three communities, helping them to organize health services for themselves in their own villages.

It was rewarding work, Quentin says, helping people with their own very basic needs. “It was a very different cultural experience, and I found myself losing this American identity as I worked on a daily basis with others.”

Once back in the US, he worked for a time as a Client Trainer with Total System Services, Inc., of Columbus, Ga., processing transactions for banks in Mexico, Honduras, and the Caribbean. “It was interesting work,” he said, “a complement to my international exposure through Peace Corps.” But it wasn’t quite the same.

Quentin plans to go to Brazil next summer to study income distribution in that country. He hopes to join a United Nations team interested in this subject. If not, he’ll go on his own or as a part of studies arranged by SAIS. “It’s a real problem over there,” he said, “the differences in economic conditions among the people - we need to know more about it.”

In preparation for this work, Baldwin is engaged in an intensive study of Portuguese. He already is fluent in Spanish. “You need the language,” he contends, “if you’re going to get along in the culture.”

And that is just what Quentin Baldwin plans to do - to get along in the culture, helping people “who need it most”.

He gets “passionate” over such a challenge and, as with Peace Corps, hopes to find enjoyment in his work

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Story Source: Howard University

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; COS - Nicaragua; Minority Volunteers



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