Peace Corps in the Workplace: RPCVs@EPA
By Guest Contributor on Monday, April 2nd, 2012
Professional networking is an important benefit of connecting with fellow Returned Peace Corps Volunteers (RPCVs). U.S. Environmental Protection Agency employee Sandra O’Neill explains how RPCVs have come together at her place of work.
In February of 2011, I attended an EPA workshop that brought young professionals within the Agency together. Someone asked a question about a Memorandum of Understanding that the Peace Corps had recently signed with the EPA. That question prompted the speaker to ask for RPCVs present in the room to raise their hands. As I proudly raised my hand, I was surprised to see that I was surrounded on all sides by fellow RPCVs! Just how many RPCVs worked at EPA, anyway?
That workshop led to a meeting of a few RPCVs asking this question and brainstorming ideas of how to organize an RPCV group. It started very simply by listing the names of all the RPCVs we personally knew (maybe 12 or so at the time). It turns out, some of them knew of existing RPCV lists that had been previously generated. Through word of mouth, our list grew and grew and we realized, there was definite interest in putting together a group to represent the interests of RPCVs at EPA. Thus was born the idea to formally create our own RPCV group, appropriately named, RPCVs@EPA.
We borrowed the charter from an existing employee group at EPA and molded it to fit our criteria. Once vetted by our group, we sent our charter through Human Resources and received the official EPA approval! Since last February, our list has grown from 12 RPCVs to over 350. We were able to host Peace Corps Director Aaron Williams and NPCA President Kevin Quigley in a festive celebration of the 50th year anniversary and are currently working on issues important to our RPCVs. The great thing about RPCVs is that they are lifetime volunteers. We love having an RPCV community at our workplace!
Are you an RPCV at the EPA or know of someone who is? Contact Sandra at: sanoneill @ gmail.com
Interested in starting an official NPCA member group? Learn more here.