April 18, 2005: Headlines: Local Groups: Charleston Post and Courier: Peace Corps volunteers to get send-of from South Carolina

Peace Corps Online: State: South Carolina: February 8, 2005: Index: PCOL Exclusive: South Carolina : April 18, 2005: Headlines: Local Groups: Charleston Post and Courier: Peace Corps volunteers to get send-of from South Carolina

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Peace Corps volunteers to get send-of from South Carolina

Peace Corps volunteers to get send-of from South Carolina

Peace Corps volunteers to get send-of from South Carolina

Peace Corps volunteers to get send-off

Local residents heading abroad for 27 months

By Deneshia Graham
Charleston Post and Courier
Charleston, S.C.
April 18, 2005

Before pursuing a career in accounting, Neal Resch spent his childhood days on a 500-acre farm in Awendaw.

The land held pecan trees, a herd of cattle, a few milk cows, other livestock and crops.

As Resch prepares to volunteer for more than two years in a foreign country with the Peace Corps, he's drawing on his business background and his life on the farm to teach agribusiness in the Republic of Azerbaijan, located on the Caspian Sea, between Iran and Russia.

"The good parts of capitalism that encourage better uses of resources for more people is relatively new to them," Resch said. "I'm there to help them with their own culture and society, to make things better for their own people."

Resch, 63, is one of more than 10 Charlestonians nominated to serve in the Peace Corps, a 27-month commitment starting in May.

Established in 1961, the Peace Corps is a federal government agency "devoted to world peace and friendship." Volunteers work with people of interested countries to help them meet their need for trained men and women, according to Camille Kenner, a Peace Corps spokeswoman.

The agency also seeks to promote a better understanding of Americans in foreign countries and improve understanding of foreign peoples among Americans.
Since its inception, 178,000 volunteers have served in 138 countries.

College of Charleston President Lee Higdon and his wife, Ann, are among the many who have volunteered.

The Higdons served in Malawi, East Africa, from 1968-1970. Recently married college graduates at the time, they joined the Peace Corps to give back to those in need. They were assigned to a rural, agrarian district where $25 was the annual income. The Higdons spent their two years there without running water or electricity. Their first son was born in Africa.

"I think it taught us to deeply appreciate people from different cultures and backgrounds," Lee Higdon said. Also, he said he learned principles for building a successful career in business and in leadership.

The college will host a farewell celebration for area volunteers at 7 p.m., today, in Randolph Hall. It is open to the public.

"We recognize the talents and the wealth of experience these graduates offer and look forward to more graduates contributing to the Peace Crops legacy overseas," said John Eaves, Peace Corps' Southeast regional manager.

Volunteers receive three months of technical, safety and language training before beginning work in their assigned areas. The agency offers volunteers living expenses, language training, medical and dental care, possible student loan deferment or cancellation and a $6,075 allowance. For more information, visit the Web site www.peacecorps.gov.

The College of Charleston will host a farewell celebration for area Peace Corps volunteers at 7 p.m. today in Randolph Hall. It is open to the public. For more info on the Peace Corps, visit the Web site www.peacecorps.gov.

When this story was posted in April 2005, this was on the front page of PCOL:

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Story Source: Charleston Post and Courier

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; Local Groups



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