In Memoriam – July 2012
By Jonathan Pearson on Tuesday, August 7th, 2012
There are plenty of Peace Corps Volunteers who return to the United States with the same enthusiasm they had when they embarked on their journey to their country of service. These Volunteers can be found across the country doing good deeds in their communities using this same enthusiasm. It is important to note these Volunteers and commemorate their hard work even after their time on earth has passed. The following are Returned Peace Corps volunteers who passed away in July but whose contributions both here and abroad will never be forgotten:
Valarie Ann Riley (1954-2012)
After her two-year service in Africa, Valerie Ann Riley, continued to focus on serving others within the United States. Valerie worked as a bilingual career facilitator for Northwest Piedmont Council of Government. She also assisted the Latino population with Limited English Proficiency and translation services. She encouraged them to enroll in English as a second language classes and obtain their high school diplomas. Through her work, she received various awards including the Innovation Award through the National Association of Developing Organizations. She focused on helping people with training, scholarships and employment opportunities.
Catherine Perez (1973-2012)
Catherine worked in Thailand teaching children English. Upon her return, she received her Master’s of Education in School Counseling. In 2006, she was diagnosed with breast cancer. She was able to conquer the disease and became a strong advocate for cancer awareness. She became active in educating other victims as well as speaking to high school students. As a founding member of Beyond Boobs, a support group for cancer patients, she co-founded Relay for Life teams across her city. Her enthusiasm for teaching did not stop there. Catherine returned to school to receive an Education Specialist degree in School Psychology. She continued to make a difference in students’ lives in Virginia Beach. Catherine lost the battle against cancer this July but her courage to continue to serve others despite her hardships is inspiring and will forever be remembered by those who surrounded her.
To learn about other Peace Corps Volunteers who passed away recently, follow this link.