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August 8, 2023

NPCA Community Members Join the UN High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development

Members from NPCA's New York City affiliate group engaged on key topics at the United Nations, delving into the heart of sustainable development talks. By Greg Emerson Bocquet In July, representatives from National Peace Corps Association's New York City affiliate group attended sessions at the United Nations High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF), a “pre-event” ahead of the SDG Summit in September. The SDG Summit will serve to review the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development at the halfway point to the target set for implementing the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The event will be the centerpiece of the High-Level Week of the UN...

August 3, 2023

Opinion | Recruiting Barbie for Peace Corps

Op-Ed: A Case for Why a Peace Corps Barbie Could Spark Volunteer Interest Among Youth By Megan Dial Image generated by NPCA Staff using Midjourney I’m a Barbie girl. Growing up, every birthday and Christmas I would ask for one thing: more Barbies. By the time I started to enter middle school, my playroom would have served as a miniature functioning society. There was a high school and teachers, a doctor’s office, nurses, a farm, restaurants, sports teams, and even a president to rule. Though it has long been since I last played with my dolls, the memories I made have...

August 1, 2023

Peace Corps Achievements – July and August 2023

News and updates from the Peace Corps community — across the country, around the world, and spanning generations of returned Volunteers and staff. By Peter V. Deekle (Iran 1968–70) and Gwyn Skiles Samantha Maltais (pictured, Tonga 2018–20) is a member of the Wampanoag Tribe of Aquinnah and a JD candidate at Harvard Law School, advocating for indigenous rights in conjunction with climate change. Taylor Stuckert (Bolivia 2008) is the new executive director of American Connection Corps, a service corps that advances economic prosperity by mobilizing local leaders in rural and emerging communities to tackle critical, bi-partisan challenges. Daniel Mendez (Belize 2009–15) was appointed by the government of Belize as the National Emergency Coordinator for...

June 8, 2023

Peace Corps Achievements – May and June 2023

News and updates from the Peace Corps community — across the country, around the world, and spanning generations of returned Volunteers and staff. Compiled by Peter V. Deekle (Iran 1968–70) Alexandria Dreher (pictured, Azerbaijan 2009–12), American Rescue Plan Program Manager in Oregon state’s Lane County, was unanimously appointed Cottage Grove Ward 4 City Councilor-at-Large by the Mayor and City Council this year. Joshuah Marshall (Morocco 2007–09) joined the Biden Administration in March as Senior Advisor to the Director of Indian Health Service where he will be responsible for a variety of special analyses and high-level health policy matters. Ritu Bhatnagar (Nepal 1995–97) was awarded Distinguished Fellow status...

April 4, 2023

Peace Corps Achievements – March and April 2023

News and updates from the Peace Corps community — across the country, around the world, and spanning generations of returned Volunteers and staff. By Peter V. Deekle and Priyasha Chakravarti Jon Santiago (pictured, Dominican Republic 2006–08) became Massachusetts’ first-ever Secretary of the Executive Office of Veterans’ Services on March 1, overseeing facilities and benefits for more than 270,000 veterans in the state. Johnnie Carson (Tanzania 1965–68) was appointed as the Special Presidential Representative for U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit Implementation last December. Peggy Walton (Ukraine 1994–96; 2013–16) a retired teacher, enrolled to participate in the Peace Corps Virtual Service Pilot Program in Ukraine, an active war zone. We also share more stories...

April 17, 2022

How People Experience Idealism, Why It Dies, and Why That Matters

The Death of Idealism Development and Anti-Politics in the Peace Corps By Meghan Elizabeth Kallman Columbia University Press   Reviewed by Steven Boyd Saum   You might surmise from its title that this is not a book that casts the Peace Corps experience in a particularly rosy light. You would be right, sort of. But Meghan Elizabeth Kallman is not trying to argue that the Peace Corps is good or bad. Rather, she writes, “The questions of how people experience idealism, why it dies, and why that matters are the central puzzle of this book.” Kallman is an assistant professor at the School...

May 11, 2021

Virtual Volunteering in the Time of COVID-19

The evacuation of Volunteers from around the globe interrupted service everywhere. And while Volunteers have yet to return to the field, last year Peace Corps launched a program for communities and Volunteers to work together — virtually.   Six months after Peace Corps evacuated all Volunteers from around the world, 45 returned to service under the aegis of the agency: the inaugural cohort of an 10- to 12-week endeavor christened the Virtual Service Pilot program. They were Volunteers and Response Volunteers and trainees. They partnered with communities in nine countries and areas: Botswana, Colombia, Costa Rica, Eastern Caribbean, Paraguay, Peru, Senegal, South Africa,...

May 4, 2021

Fierce Advocate for the Land

A remembrance of Paul Johnson By Jake Arce   Paul Johnson understood what it means to tend the earth. He was a farmer and a state and national leader in the movement to conserve soil and water. As chief of the Natural Resources Conservation Service, he led the agency to produce a national report card on the state of America’s private lands. He called it “A Geography of Hope.” Johnson joined the Peace Corps in 1962, serving in one of the first groups in Ghana. After returning to the United States in 1964, he completed studies in natural development, earning...

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