June Featured Advocate: Ravi Shah
By Chloe Hedden on Tuesday, June 5th, 2012
When Ravi Shah recently completed his graduate program at the University of Southern California (USC) and secured a position as a program associate with the Los Angeles based non-profit Community Partners, he celebrated these achievements in a way that means the world to us – he made a generous donation to the National Peace Corps Association (NPCA) and its advocacy program.
Ravi’s financial support is part of a longstanding commitment to the NPCA and the Peace Corps community. He began his Peace Corps journey in the spring of 2006 when Ravi joined NPCA as an advocacy intern. Inspired to serve, Ravi became a Peace Corps Volunteer in the Ukraine from 2007 to 2009 teaching English to primary, secondary, and university students in Yevpatoria, Crimea. Upon his return Ravi began his master’s degree in Public Administration at USC.
Ravi may have been an advocacy intern six years ago but his support and passion for the Peace Corps community continues today. Ravi is a member of NPCA’s Advocacy Advisory Council, has spoken on panels and participated in events hosted by the Los Angeles Peace Corps office, and has been involved with the RPCVs of Los Angeles. During his grad program, Ravi also helped create a
group for Returned Peace Corps Volunteers (RPCVs) at USC, focusing on bringing together RPCVs to do community work and share their Peace Corps experiences.
Working alongside NPCA Advocacy Director Jonathan Pearson showed Ravi how important it is to advocate because that is how RPCVs can make a difference and effect change. “I strongly feel that we can leverage our global experiences and knowledge to influence positive, sustainable change for Peace Corps and a variety of other issues.”
As Ravi joins other advocates and NPCA staff in regular advocacy on Peace Corps funding, other Peace Corps matters and issues of global concern, he wonders what could be accomplished if the Peace Corps was fully supported and did not face any funding challenges. Donating to the advocacy program aids with the amount of time, money, and resources available to advocate.
When asked what he would want to share with the Peace Corps community Ravi said “I ask my fellow RPCVs to support NPCA’s advocacy work by either making a personally significant contribution or participating in NPCA’s advocacy events.” It’s not surprising that — being a RPCV — Ravi leads by example.