February 19, 2003: Headlines: COS - Samoa: Recruitment: Red and Black: Western Samoa RPCV Tricia Siaso recruits for the Peace Corps

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Samoa: Peace Corps Samoa : The Peace Corps in Samoa: February 19, 2003: Headlines: COS - Samoa: Recruitment: Red and Black: Western Samoa RPCV Tricia Siaso recruits for the Peace Corps

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Western Samoa RPCV Tricia Siaso recruits for the Peace Corps

Western Samoa RPCV Tricia Siaso recruits for the Peace Corps

Redefining lifestyles globally

Published , February 19, 2003, 12:00:01 PM EDT
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Victoria Sturdivant, right, a regional recruiter for the Peace Corps, shows Valerie Blair, an animal science major, an informational booklet at the Career Fair in Stegman Collesium on Tuesday. (Elissa Eubanks * The Red & Black)

What could possess someone accustomed to life in a comparatively wealthy society to abandon all of the trappings of civilization for a grass hut and a bowl of rice?

Each year, more than 7,000 volunteers and trainees -- including University faculty and alumni -- are placed around the globe to serve in the Peace Corps.

Among these 7,000 are men and women of all ages and backgrounds. Any U.S. citizen can serve in the Corps, though one with a college education is preferred.

"We like to see a person who has shown they are committed to community service, people who are well-rounded and people with an open mind to learning a new culture and a new language," said Tricia Siaso, the University's Peace Corps recruiter.

As of 2000, 32 University alumni had volunteered with the Peace Corps, making it one of the top 25 large colleges and universities to participate in the program.

Siaso said she tries to visit the campus at least a couple of times per year to talk with students. She answered questions at the non-profit career fair, and Victoria Sturdivant, also a recruiter, filled in for her during Tuesday's career fair at Stegeman Coliseum.

"Typically, I'm hoarse by the end of a career fair at UGA," Siaso said.

Siaso also said some people think the Peace Corps is doing disaster relief or handing out food.

Others think you must use your own personal funds to travel overseas or that it puts you behind in your career, she said.

"If anything, it puts you ahead of everyone else," Siaso said.

Although the job comes with many hardships, ask most Peace Corps volunteers, and they will say the benefits far outweigh the sacrifices.

During the two years a person spends in the Peace Corps, a volunteer does anything from digging ditches to starting up a small business.

Jason Carter, a second-year law student at the University and grandson of former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, spent his two years in the South African village of Lochiel working to reform the post-apartheid education system.

"I really do recommend it for anybody because you can make of it what you want," Carter said.

He said he is the first great-grandchild of a volunteer to volunteer himself. His great-grandmother, Lillian Carter, turned 70 while serving as a volunteer in India.

"There would definitely be no Nobel Peace Prize or Carter Center if it hadn't been for my great grandmother's experience in the Peace Corps," Carter said.

"I think there's not a person in the United States that wouldn't benefit from doing it for a variety of reasons," he said.

Siaso, who volunteered herself in Western Samoa, agreed.

"It really changes your perspective on the world," Siaso said. "It teaches you what's important and what's not."

Perhaps that is why the Peace Corps promises to be "the toughest job you'll ever love."

Sturdivant will have a booth at the Tate Student Student Center today and Thursday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. She will hold an in-depth information session in Room 138 of the Tate Center from 6 to 7 Thursday night.

When this story was posted in December 2004, this was on the front page of PCOL:

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Story Source: Red and Black

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



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