September 13, 2003 - Boston University: Candy Mirrer is Director of the Peace Corps in Romania

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Romania: Peace Corps Romania : The Peace Corps in Romania: September 13, 2003 - Boston University: Candy Mirrer is Director of the Peace Corps in Romania

By Admin1 (admin) on Saturday, September 13, 2003 - 1:27 pm: Edit Post

Candy Mirrer is Director of the Peace Corps in Romania

Candy Mirrer is Director of the Peace Corps in Romania

In Step with the Peace Corps

by Midge Raymond

When twelve-year-old Candy Mirrer was asked what she wanted to do when she grew up, she replied, “I want to see the world.”

Candy Mirrer (GSM’81).

While Mirrer (GSM’81) knew “travel” wasn’t a career option, she remembers telling herself, “Well, I’ll figure out what the career is -- but that’s the life that I want.”

And that is, in fact, the life she has. Mirrer has worked in economic development and management consulting in nineteen countries and is now living in Bucharest as country director of the Peace Corps Romania.

A typical day for her includes managing volunteers and her American and Romanian office staff, as well as maintaining relationships with embassies, Peace Corps headquarters in Washington, D.C., and local ministries. “Every day is like a massive in box,” she says. “I remember doing an in-box exercise when I was a student at Boston University and thinking, ‘How can anybody have all that to do and decide quickly?’ And now, every day, I have this -- thirty to forty judgments to be made on the quick.”

Many of the decisions she makes have to do with the 170 volunteers she oversees, about three times the number Peace Corps country directors typically manage. “I am constantly impressed by what the volunteers are doing,” she says. “I’m in awe of many of them.”

She speaks particularly highly of volunteer and fellow alumna Rebeka Fergusson-Lutz (CAS’01), who teaches English as a foreign language and is president of Peace Corps Romania’s gender and development committee. “Becka is a star,” Mirrer says. “I think she’s a model for a lot of volunteers.”

Rebeka Fergusson-Lutz (CAS’01).

As a BU student, Fergusson-Lutz’s involvement with activist organizations made her realize that she and the Peace Corps “seemed a natural match.” She knew she didn’t want to work in an office after graduation, and even when her friends were getting lucrative job offers at big-name companies, she didn’t have any doubts. “I make $188 dollars a month,” she says, “but I think this is the ‘realest’ job I could ever have.”

She appreciates the flexibility to direct her energies where she believes they’re most needed. “What concerns me perhaps most of all are the issues of gender development and women’s health here in Romania,” she says. “Traditional mores, with the reinforcement of the Orthodox Church, teach women that they are inherently inferior and should submit to the ‘better’ judgment of men.”

Fergusson-Lutz hopes to empower Romania’s girls through a camp called G.L.O.W. (Girls Lead Our World), at which she addresses self-esteem, body image, domestic violence, substance abuse, responsible sex, and “all the stuff we thought teenage girls should know but never get taught at school or at home,” she says. “Our hope is that if girls start to believe that they truly deserve equality, they will eventually demand it, and society will in turn give it to them.”

For both Mirrer and Fergusson-Lutz, helping bring such changes is the biggest job perk. Mirrer, who started her job last spring, says that “being in the Peace Corps and being in this part of the world is enabling me to see what Europe is changing into.” And Fergusson-Lutz hopes that the lessons she teaches to individuals will eventually be reflected in Romanian society. “The only way to solve Romania’s problems,” she says, “is to change the minds of young people and encourage them to change the country themselves.”

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Story Source: Boston University

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; COS - Romania



By Jorge Teixeira ( on Wednesday, October 26, 2005 - 4:35 pm: Edit Post


My name is Jorge Teixeira and I have just applied for Peace Corp. I'm really interested in going to Romania and work in economic development. I've graduated from the University of Massachusetts with degree in Economic. I know that I'm well prepared and have the experience necessary to work and help Romanian people understand the capitalist system that most of us have today. As you said, Midge Raymond, I also believe that the only way to improve Romanian economy is to change young people's mind. Well.. here I am at your service, young and motivated with experience necessary to work among young Romanians to help them understand and help their economics system.

I hope Midge Raymond will get to ready this letter and give me the chance to go and work in Romania.

In case you want to contact me my email is

Thank you
Jorge Teixeira

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