May Featured Advocate – Christine O’Neill
By Jonathan Pearson on Thursday, May 9th, 2013
By the time you read this, Christine O’Neill (Costa Rica 2007 – 11) will be days away from receiving her Masters in Social Work at Washington University in St. Louis. ”I have no idea what’s next,” she said. Our only hope is that (along with getting the job of her dreams!) part of Christine’s future includes continued involvement with the National Peace Corps Association (NPCA) advocacy program.
Christine has been serving as the Advocacy Coordinator for the St. Louis RPCVs for the past year. She has kept people informed of NPCA advocacy initiatives, helped coordinate district-based meetings with members of Congress and (most recently) organized an advocacy workshop during NPCA Advocacy Director Jonathan Pearson’s recent cross-country Trip-a-Palooza!
“I’ve had a lot of fun getting folks from the community to become more involved in talking to their legislators and talking to people about issues that are important to the Peace Corps.”
Engaging others in NPCA advocacy requires commitment, but it is intermittent, according to Christine. ”It’s not something that every single week you have to dedicate hours to. It’s more like every few months, you have to spend a few hours, and send some occasional updates in between.”
No matter what the level of commitment, a key requirement to any form of volunteer activity is a feeling of fulfillment. Christine O’Neill says that has been her experience as St. Louis Advocacy Coordintor. ”Sharing my story is something that is super rewarding to me. To be able to inspire others, to be able to talk about why this matters, to try to make sure Peace Corps has a sustainable future and that we continue to make the impact (of Peace Corps service) in the future, I think that’s something that’s really important.”
Our thanks to Christine for her continued service through advocacy, and congratulations on her graduation!