February 11, 2004 - Daily Review Atlas: Kyrgyzstan RPCV Linda Lee Blaine joins Monmouth workforce

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Kyrgyzstan: Peace Corps Kyrgyzstan : The Peace Corps in Kyrgyzstan: February 11, 2004 - Daily Review Atlas: Kyrgyzstan RPCV Linda Lee Blaine joins Monmouth workforce

By Admin1 (admin) (pool-141-157-42-145.balt.east.verizon.net - on Thursday, February 12, 2004 - 8:43 pm: Edit Post

Kyrgyzstan RPCV Linda Lee Blaine joins Monmouth workforce

Kyrgyzstan RPCV Linda Lee Blaine joins Monmouth workforce

Peace Corps volunteer joins Monmouth workforce
By Jennifer Davis

Staff Reporter

"Life is calling. How far will you go?" That motto of the Peace Corps took Linda Lee Blaine to Kyrgyzstan.

After spending 25 months there teaching the English language to high school students and writing grants to establish an English language research center, Blaine returned to the United States where she enrolled in the MBA program at Western Illinois University.

Currently Blaine is serving the City of Monmouth as a Peace Corps Fellow, a position she began filling in January. During her internship Blaine will work closely with Jolene Willis, of Western Illinois Economic Development Partnership, Paul Schuytema, of Magic Lantern Playware and city officials on several projects.

One such project includes devising a program at Monmouth College that would feature an alumni advisory board to oversee student interns from the business department who work in the community. She also recently finished a grant that calls for a business incubator for technology based businesses being placed on the third floor at the Patton Block Center.

The Washington state native, in the near future, will be working on a program for local residents who want to start a new business in the area. Upon completing the program, the students will receive a laptop computer, which has all of the programs necessary to run a small business. Furthermore, she is currently in the midst of completing a Downtown Business survey that will uncover the needs of the business owners and renters in Monmouth. A historical marker walking tour is also in the works and will be available in brochure format, or on a website as a virtual tour. A program to assist Hispanic entrepreneurship is also on Blaine's agenda.

"It has been exciting. I love having so many different projects to work on," stated Blaine in regards to her position as a Peace Corps Fellow in Monmouth. "Working with Jolene and Paul has been great. They are very optimistic about what can be done."

Blaine's arrival in Monmouth came after Schuytema and the WIU grad student met at the Illinois Micro-business Association Conference in Peoria. After discussing with Blaine the needs of the community, she visited Monmouth. Soon after she was chosen to serve Monmouth as the Peace Corps Fellow to replace last year's AmeriCorps service associate.

"She has been a valuable resource in helping with economic development projects, small business resources, and working on technology issues for the city," stated Willis. Schuytema added, "We are fortunate to have someone with this much experience here. She has incredible initiative. I'm amazed at how much work she has already done."

The Peace Corps organization dates back to 1960, when John F. Kennedy, as senator, encouraged University of Michigan's students to serve their country and the world in the name of peace by working in developing countries.

From this call to arms, the Peace Corps agency of the federal government became devoted to world peace. Since 1960 over 170,000 Peace Corps Volunteers have traveled to more than 136 host countries to serve society and work on issues that range from environmental and preservation to education, AIDS awareness and technology.

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Story Source: Daily Review Atlas

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



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