Affiliate Group: Greater Birmingham RPCVs
Côte d’Ivoire 1969–1972
Affiliate Group – Northern California, Sacramento, Peace Corps Association
Why NPCA Advocacy is Important It is important to share with Americans the value of international development. The Peace Corps has benefited the United States in many ways We need to support those Volunteers in the field as well as though who have returned. It is also necessary to let Congress know about the value of having a strong and hard working Peace Corps.
Fun Fact: I was most fortunate to coach basketball when I was in the Peace Corps in Côte d’Ivoire. We had a great team. I later became a cross country, track and field, and basketball coach in Sonoma County.
RPCV-LA -Legislative Liasion Los Angeles, CA
Why is NPCA Advocacy Important: Throughout the years’ Advocacy work has been very important to me in getting the message out and the need met (workers’ rights, the disabled, violence against women act, veteran bill, etc.,) Since becoming an NPCA Advocate, this has further enabled me to meet liked mind individuals across a national platform to establish and accomplish further goals for Peace Corps.
Advocacy Success Story: My advocacy success story has been the recent collaboration with other California regional coordinators and RPCVs to meet with various US Senators and Representatives. These meetings ensure their support and vote for the Peace Corps Reauthorization Bill getting passed in the House of Representatives.
Fun Fact: I enjoyed music and dancing, particularly Salsa!
Based in Guilford. Kenya 1969-72
Why is NPCA Advocacy Important: For many that look for formative experiences to learn how to best serve others intentionally and in a cross-cultural context, Peace Corps remains the most committed in providing that avenue. NPCA advocacy is important because it maintains that avenue by improving Peace Corps, strengthening its commitment to volunteers, and providing equitable services to the communities it partners with abroad.
St. Vincent & the Grenadines 1969-1971
Why NPCA Advocacy is Important: One of many ways to continue giving after Peace Corps service is to ensure that others have the opportunity to serve in the Peace Corps AND for people throughout the world to get to know Americans one-on one.
Advocacy Success Story: At the 50th Anniversary celebration I walked the halls of Congress all day long, a very invigorating, exciting day. And then I got to visit with Rep. Allan West from Florida who, to my surprise, was a charming individual. He even made a commitment to our request.
Fun Fact: I love to host the Returned Peace Corps of South Florida Holiday Party at my home and have done so for the past 8 years!
Why NPCA advocacy is important: NPCA advocacy work is critically important for helping ensure that future Peace Corps Volunteerss receive the support they need to thrive in the field. What inspires me about advocating on behalf of the NPCA is knowing that we are making a difference in the lives of all members of the Peace Corps family.
Fun Fact: One fun fact about me is that I met my fiancée in the Peace Corps. We were next door neighbors during training!
Faith Van Gilder
Based in Fort Wayne. Botswana 1986-1988
Why NPCA Advocacy is Important: Being an advocate for Peace Corps is a small way I can stay connected to the Peace Corps community as well as a way I can hopefully improve conditions for current Volunteers in the field.
Share an Advocacy Success Story: After a spring blizzard shuttered most congressional offices on Advocacy Day on March 5, 2015, I was able to reschedule two meetings for the next day before my train left D.C.
Fun Fact: We have not had a TV in our house since 1986. We raised two intelligent daughters, now young adults, without it!
David Van Gilder
Entire State (based in Fort Wayne). Botswana 1986-1988
Why NPCA Advocacy is Important: Spreading the message of peace requires constant work from people who have been volunteers for peace.
Share an Advocacy Success Story: I represent community organizations in the process of civil discourse and decision-making.
Fun Fact: I play snare drums in a Scottish pipe and drum band.
Why NPCA Advocacy is Important: We advocate through the NPCA to help ensure that the Peace Corps exists and thrives as an example of the best ideals of America, and to ensure that Americans return from the Peace Corps to share with other Americans about their inter-cultural experiences and friendships. It is as important as ever to continue to serve others and build trust, peace and friendships throughout the world.
Advocacy Success Story: I am the advocacy coordinator for the the Kansas City Area Peace Corps Association, which holds the proud and unique distinction of serving both Kansas and Missouri.
Fun Fact: I play the handbells, piano and clarinet and have served as an AmeriCorps VISTA in Kentucky, prior to the Peace Corps.
Will and Amy Glasscock
Cover entire State (based in Lexington). Indonesia 2012-14.
Why is NPCA Advocacy Important: Without the connection between the funding and policy decision-makers with RPCVs, the narrative of Peace Corps is just data. Bringing RPCVs and their Members of Congress together allows for a deeper understanding and appreciation of what Peace Corps Volunteers are doing around the world. NPCA does that and makes possible the continued success of this incredible 50 year program.
Share an Advocacy Success Story: In just our first year being involved with the Kentucky RPCVs, we’ve witnessed the incredible relationships that many of our members have with our Congressional delegation. There are some surprising supporters of Peace Corps among the delegation.
Fun Fact: Amy and Will grew up 45 minutes apart in Kentucky, but met while working for their Congressman in Washington, DC. Eight years later (including two in the Peace Corps in Indonesia), they have moved back to central Kentucky and recently had their first child, Eliza.
Burkina Faso, 2007-2009, Health Sector
Why is NPCA Advocacy Important: The NPCA advocates for so much more than just the Peace Corps – its advocacy promotes the values and goals of the Peace Corps and helps encourage a deeper understanding of others. It supports peace-building work around the world, and that is something in which I’m grateful to participate.
Share an Advocacy Success Story: We’ve been very fortunate here in Baton Rouge to have had two meetings with Congressman Graves himself. The Congressman is a strong advocate of the Peace Corps, and this shows in his willingness to take time out of his schedule to meet with us – two times within less than a year!
Fun fact: I had actually been to Burkina Faso prior to my Peace Corps experience, prior to having even applied to the Peace Corps!
Kindom of Tonga 2005–2007
Why is NPCA Advocacy Important: Being a Peace Corps Volunteer was one of my greatest adventures, and I want to ensure that opportunity – to find human connection and fulfillment in serving others – exists for generations to come.
Share an Advocacy Success Story: Our meetings with members of the Maine Congressional Delegation and their staff have all been so rewarding. They are such strong believers in the power of the Peace Corps to make a difference in the world, and they support our efforts in promoting world peace and friendship. And they always (ALWAYS!) say, “I wish I had done the Peace Corps!” And I always answer: it’s never too late!
Covers entire State (based in Worcester). Jamaica 1991-92
Why NPCA Advocacy is Important: It supports the future of Peace Corps; it supports Returned Peace Corps Volunteers; and it promotes what is best about our country – our people – to the entire world.
Advocacy Success Story: Connecting to and with the entire Massachusetts delegation such that they have ALL supported legislation, or ALL signed the “Dear Peace Corps’ letter, or ALL have joined the Peace Corps caucus.
Fun Fact 1: In Jamaica I physically helped to build a library; I am now part of an initiative here in Worcester MA called “One City One Library” that builds libraries in schools (that do not yet have libraries).
Fun Fact 2: Our daughter Meghan will start a year of service in Jamaica this July with Passionist Volunteers International.
I served in Ghana, 1971-73 and taught algebra, geometry, and calculus at Apam Secondary School.
Share an Advocacy Success Story: Currently, I am working in legislative advocacy–lobbying to pass legislation on humanitarian and social causes. Much of my work involves advancing climate legislation sponsored by the Massachusetts Chapter of the Sierra Club. I also just received another graduate degree at Tufts University where I focused on public policy.
Why is NPCA Advocacy Important: Our local NPCA advocacy team is critical to let our congressional rep know that the Peace Corps is important and needs his legislative support. Without us, many Peace Corps issues would not be prioritized.
Covers Southeast Michigan. Philippines VII 1962-1964
Why NPCA Advocacy is Important: Peace Corps provides needed services at the most cost-effective level to communities around the world. Peace Corps trains and gives American PCVs an in depth understanding of the peoples of the world and gives the peoples of the world an understanding of Americans and American values.
Advocacy Success Story: I’ve helped educate via full scholarships for tuition, books, living expenses and transportation grants over the past 50 years, about 10 non-family Filipinos from the school where I taught, who were poor and the top in their elementary school graduating class, paying for high school and then college. They are my “anchors” and they have each supported three to five students through high school and college.
Fun Fact: After 50 years I’ve been re-engaged with my school for the past few years, helping with a computer teaching lab – remotely connected via wireless phone connections, new books for their library and hopefully will begin a nutrition program for children in the school, and an adult literacy program soon – in cooperation with the Kiwanis Club of Davao City – which is 75 kilometers away.
Entire State (based in Oxford). Nicaragua 1999-01
Why NPCA Advocacy is Important: We never really stop being Peace Corps Volunteers. Peace Corps’ Third Goal is to share our experiences when we return home and our legislators are no exception! I think people get intimidated by advocacy, but really it’s just about sharing your story. Tell your member of Congress how Peace Corps has impacted you and by extension, your community and your state. That’s all it takes to be an advocate!
Fun Fact: In addition to a wonderful full-time job at the University of Mississippi, I also volunteer at a regional free health clinic as the volunteer coordinator, grants manager, and a translator. In my free time, I like to go camping or to hear live music with my husband and son.
Why NPCA Advocacy is Important: I want to give back to the Peace Corps because I believe in the power of international service. I have been lobbying for years in Washington, DC and in-district, and I feel that it is an essential part of being an engaged citizen. My wish is that recently returned RPCV’s would take action because we need their collective voices to ensure a bright future for the Peace Corps.
Share an Advocacy Success Story: Every meeting I schedule is a success to me. Missouri can be a conservative state so every little bit sends a message that what we do is important.
Fun Fact: I love travelling and I have lived in Maine, France, Illinois, Ohio, Iowa, Mali, Washington, DC, Vermont, and now Missouri (where I was born).
Why NPCA Advocacy is Important: I served in Paraguay in the Peace Corps from 1998-2000 in the Urban Youth Development program. My time in the Peace Corps taught me the value of stewardship and advocacy. I have continued to pursue community involvement and championing accessibility since my return. Shortly afterwards, I taught ESL for a summer in Poland as well as at a night program for residents of Morris County, NJ for several years.
Advocacy Success Story: My full-time career is a high school special needs teachers where I work to help match the curriculum to the student’s needs. Additionally, I own and operate a CrossFit gym with my husband. Through our gym, I have begun to advocate for adaptive athletes. At the high school where I teach, I run the Spring weight room where I work with a student who uses a wheelchair to learn how to modify equipment for his own strength and conditioning program. At the facility that my husband and I run we set up a companion coach for athletes that require direct instruction so that they can participate in mainstream classes.
Advocacy Success Story: I don’t have a specific advocacy success story, but participating in the 2016 National Day of Action gave me the opportunity of meeting, although briefly, with the two Long Island Congressmen. I felt a sense of accomplishment that I was able to advocate for the Peace Corps that day.
I also visited several congressional offices in 2015 when accompanying the 2015 Harris Wofford Award recipient, Berhane Daba of Ethiopia. At that time, I realized how important it is to remind Congress of how much of what the Peace Corps has done and continues to do has lasting, important, global effects.
Fun Fact: has nothing to do with Peace Corps, but did you know that ancestors of horseshoe crabs date back to before the dinosaurs? They are not true crabs, but are more closely related to arachnids (spiders). They are my favorite to find on beaches when I am teaching a seashore program on the bays of the south shore of Long Island! Holding a horseshoe crab is having a living fossil in your hands.( I could go on and on about their habitat, physiology, etc., but I won’t)
Republic of Korea 1978-1980
Why NPCA advocacy is important: We, the Returned Peace Corps Volunteers, know more than anyone the power of a single Peace Corps Volunteer’s relationships with the people in the host country. This kind of “soft diplomacy” is invaluable, yet inexpensive when understood in the context of the federal budget. Our advocacy is needed to make the program stronger so it can continue for generations to come.
Advocacy Success Story: From March 28 to April 1, 2022, twenty RPCVs and supporters from around the state of Utah had five virtual meetings with Utah congressional staffers.
Fun Fact: I live downtown so I can run all my errands on foot – as I did in the Peace Corps!
Don M. Boileau
SOUTH KOREA 1968-69.
Why NPCA Advocacy is Important: Peace Corps made a major difference in my career and life–to me it was an extra two years of my educational path. The US should continue to make these opportunities available to far more students as it is even more imperative than the 60’s to have educated students be given the opportunity to learn about living in another culture by helping others as a way to learn from others.
Fun fact: The youngest daughter in the family I lived with spent a year living with my parents in OR while the son set time with me at Central Michigan University getting his MBA. We made it a true exchange.
Affiliate Group: Seattle Area Peace Corps Association
Why is NPCA Advocacy Important: Peace Corps advocacy is important because the work of the agency and its volunteers – sharing skills and information, promoting cultural awareness and understanding, and encouraging friendship between Americans and host country citizens- contributes to world peace at a grassroots level and must be secured for the future.
Share an Advocacy Success Story: By pure coincidence, I was on the east coast during the PC Action Days on the Hill in early March and participated in the visits to the legislators organized by NPCA. As the only Washingtonian, I was fortunate enough to meet with both of my senators and my congressman and share my experience in the Peace Corps and request their support for the 2018 International Affairs budget. What a wonderful experience and I am pleased to report they are on board!
Fun Fact: I just adopted a 6 month old puppy from the Humane Society. In honor of Pope Francis and my hometown, San Francisco, I named him Francisco; Cisco for short.
Why is NPCA Advocacy important: We should never allow the U.S. to give up the Peace Corps, so we need to all contribute what we can to make sure our representatives are consistently reminded of its value and importance.
Advocacy Success Story: We’ve had the most success connecting with our local contacts for our Representatives, or someone in their offices who has a connection to our geographic area.
Fun Fact: I came in fourth place in “The Voice of the Ocean” singing contest on an Alaskan cruise I took with my mom and adult siblings a few years back. Then someone on the cruise recognized me and let us cut in the dinner line… my fifteen minutes of fame on a cruise ship were glorious.
RPCV Morocco 2016-2018 / Milwaukee Peace Corps Association.
Why is NPCA Advocacy Important: The Peace Corps is a unique and powerful tool of understanding between our country and the world. Its uniqueness and mission make the organization something to be protected and enhanced. The best is yet to come! We’re excited to restart advocacy as an element of RPCV life here in Milwaukee.
Fun fact: I spent time in a commune and learned the craft of making candles