June 4, 2003 - Ottawa Daily Times: Morocco RPCV Brittany Heaton works in community development in Illinois

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Morocco: Peace Corps Morocco : The Peace Corps in Morocco: June 4, 2003 - Ottawa Daily Times: Morocco RPCV Brittany Heaton works in community development in Illinois

By Admin1 (admin) on Thursday, June 05, 2003 - 10:31 am: Edit Post

Morocco RPCV Brittany Heaton works in community development in Illinois

Read and comment on this story from the Ottawa Daily Times on Morocco RPCV Brittany Heaton who is working in community development in Illinois through the Peace Corps Fellow Program at Western Illinois University at:

Chamber enlists help from Fellows program*

* This link was active on the date it was posted. PCOL is not responsible for broken links which may have changed.

Chamber enlists help from Fellows program
By CHARLES STANLEY — Marseilles Bureau Chief

For Brittany Heaton, the road to Marseilles ran from Minnesota to Morocco to Macomb.

The former Peace Corps volunteer arrived in town Monday to start a full-time 11-month stint with the Illinois River Area Chamber of Commerce to help with community development efforts in Marseilles and Seneca.

Heaton’s services were arranged by Chamber Executive Director Patti Smith through the Peace Corps Fellow Program at Western Illinois University in Macomb.

Through the program, participating former Peace Crops volunteers earn a master’s degree with a specialization in community development. Since it was started in 1995, the program has served nearly 50 rural Illinois communities and has proved a good match for the former Peace Corps volunteers’ skills.

“In the Peace Corps experience you’re flung into a completely different world where you have to learn a new language and a new culture,” says Tom Anderson, the program manager. “But what you really learn is how to work with anybody and everybody to get a job done. So whether you are overseas or in rural Illinois those same abilities really go a long way in getting a community to work together and solve problems together. The advantage here, of course, is that you don'’ have the language and culture barriers to overcome.”

That's a good thing for Heaton, because among the wide range of efforts she will be involved in will be beautification and revitalization of downtown areas, infrastructure improvements, expansion of recreation opportunities and economic development.

“That’s fine with me and I’m excited about it because I like to keep myself busy,” said Heaton.

Heaton, who will turn 27 next month, grew up in Minneapolis, Minn., and graduated in 1999 from Northwestern University with a degree in civil engineering.

Caption: Brittany Heaton joined the Peace Corps and served a year in Morocco in North Africa as a health and sanitation educator.

She joined the Peace Corps and served a year in Morocco in North Africa as a health and sanitation educator. “I spent a lot of time with the local women and children, visiting and listening to their concerns regarding health and education,” she says.

While there she also met another volunteer, Jim Heaton, who she later married. After returning from Morocco, the Heatons moved to San Diego, where she worked as a civil engineering consultant to the Metropolitan Transit Development Board of San Diego, mostly doing computer design and drafting work.

“While I enjoyed my job I realized that I wanted to interact with more people and make connections with communities,” she says. “When my husband found the fellows program at Western I thought to myself, this is my opportunity.”

Her husband also is in the WIU program, working in Rock Falls as a project manager for the Rock Falls Community Development Corporation.

Her early impressions of Marseilles and Seneca have been positive.

“I’m very impressed,” she says. “Everybody has been so welcoming to me, and I think the area is very beautiful.”

As the chamber’s Community Development Coordinator a significant part of her efforts will focus will be in implementing the goals set forth last fall by the mapping committees of Marseilles and Seneca.

“If there are new ideas we are open to those too,” she says.

In about a month, she says, specific objectives for her will be identified by chamber and local government officials.

“I’m really here to work with the residents of the area and the officials at every level basically in the ways that seem to make the most sense and be the most helpful,” she says. “I really want to be kind of a spark plug and a facilitator, to really reach out and do some good work for these communities.”

Her office will be in the chamber’s caboose at 135 Washington Street in Marseilles, where she will be on duty from Monday through Wednesday, although she expects to be attending local evening meetings and weekend events.

She already has announced an open door policy.

“I want everyone to feel comfortable in coming and visiting with me and talking with me and sharing their ideas and visions for how this community can be a better place,” said says. “That’s what I'm here for.”

Click on a link below for more stories on PCOL

Main Sections
PCOL Magazine
Breaking News
One World
Peace Corps Library

Directory Sign Up

Volunteer Directory
RPCVs by State
RPCVs by Interest
Recent Headlines
RPCV helps hospital in Ethiopia 4 June
Peace Corps welcomed back to Botswana 2 June
RPCV heads Washington State DOT 30 May
Peace Corps did not close program in China 29 May
RPCVs fight deportation of former Somali ally 28 May
Volunteer finds Uzbekistan safe during war 27 May
Thomas Tighe honored at Hobart and Smith 27 May
RPCV builds Multi-cultural Art Center in Portland 26 May
RPCV Poet Don Wilsun dies in Seattle 26 May
Shrivers celebrate 50th Anniversary 23 May
Bush announces "Volunteers for Prosperity" 21 May
Presidential Candidate calls for 25,000 Volunteers 19 May
Special Sections
Bulletin Board
Local RPCV Groups
Lost RPCVs
Master Index
Return to COS
Safety of PCVs
Speaking Out
The Third Goal
US Peace Corps
USA Freedom Corps
PCOL Magazine - June 2003 Issue
Free Speech at the Peace Corps?
Peace Corps to add 1,000 volunteers in AIDS/HIV
Alcohol Abuse a big issue for Volunteers in Central Asia
Returned Volunteers honor Jack Vaughn
Op-ed: The Future of the Peace Corps
A Russian Peace Corps?

Recent Feature Stories
Watch Director Vasquez on web tv
Shays says aid organizations curtailed in Iraq
Op-ed: US has obligations in Iraq says RPCV

Special Reports
Exclusive: How RPCVs organized anti-war Ad
Improvements needed in Volunteer Support
From Russia with Love
Health Concerns: The Controversy over Lariam
GAO Reports on PCV Safety and Security
PC/Washington: Senior Staff Appointments at PC HQ
PC Expansion: The Numbers Game?
Op-ed: Why Peace Corps needs Shriver's 4th Goal
When should PC return to Afghanistan?
RPCV Spy dies in Moscow
Op-ed: The Case for Peace Corps Independence
USA Freedom Corps paved with good intentions
more special reports ...

Some postings on Peace Corps Online are provided to the individual members of this group without permission of the copyright owner for the non-profit purposes of criticism, comment, education, scholarship, and research under the "Fair Use" provisions of U.S. Government copyright laws and they may not be distributed further without permission of the copyright owner. Peace Corps Online does not vouch for the accuracy of the content of the postings, which is the sole responsibility of the copyright holder.

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; COS - Morocco; Fellows Programs; Community Development



Add a Message

This is a public posting area. Enter your username and password if you have an account. Otherwise, enter your full name as your username and leave the password blank. Your e-mail address is optional.