April Featured Advocate – John Prothro
By Alejandro Castano on Wednesday, April 4th, 2012
This month’s featured advocate is a bit of an anomaly. While he is already active with the Returned Peace Corps Volunteer community, John Prothro is still waiting for his own deployment!
Scheduled to leave on the 18th of June for Burkina Faso to serve as a Rural Development Agent, Prothro first heard of the National Peace Corps Association and its National Day of Action during a brief presentation at a social mixer co-hosted by the Black Peace Corps Volunteers and the Peace Corps Office of Diversity Recruitment.
Patiently managing the long waiting stages of his application process, he wanted to stay connected to the Peace Corps community and thought that exposure to RPCVs would help prepare him for the experiences he will soon be facing.
This drove him into our welcoming community. He joined 75 advocates at the U.S. Capitol on March 1st and walked the halls of Congress on behalf of Peace Corps volunteers past, present and, like himself, future.
Though disappointed by resistance to budgetary increases and commemorative efforts by some of the representatives he met, John felt the National Day of Action was quite successful. “The day’s events were so well planned, that it made focusing on the actual advocacy much easier and the advocacy itself more effective.” He also enjoyed seeing all the other interest groups navigating the Capitol, which reinforced his conviction of the Peace Corps’, and the NPCA’s, importance.
Prothro’s favorite part of the day, though, was getting to interact with the Peace Corps alumni. “I was in the company of several generations of RPCV’s; many of whom completed their service before I was even born!”
Their stories are helping him understand what he should expect from his forthcoming service. “I truly believe that this will be such a life changing experience in ways that I can not begin to fathom. I am looking forward to experiencing total immersion into a new and foreign culture – seeing the impacts that my service will have on that culture and also the impacts that the culture will have on me and the rest of my life!”
And then? As John wrote to us, “Participating in the [Day of Action] was a privilege and an honor. You can sign me up every year … after I return :-)”