Want to learn more about the Peace Corps? There will be ample opportunities starting Saturday as UT celebrates Peace Corps Week.
A key event will be a panel discussion on Wednesday, February 27, featuring returned volunteers talking about their experiences.
“UT is a major player in the Peace Corps, producing many volunteers. This is the organization’s fifty-second anniversary and we’ve planned a variety of events to get information out and encourage students to think about volunteering at some point in their lives,” said Amanda McRoy, campus recruiter.
UT has housed a Peace Corps office since 2008, and McRoy has been the campus recruiter since 2012. The Peace Corps chose to fund the office in the Center for International Education because UT provides many Peace Corps volunteers.
There are twenty-two UT Knoxville alumni now serving in the Peace Corps, and 514 alumni are current or former Peace Corps volunteers. UT Knoxville is the top school in Tennessee—as well as the seventh undergraduate school in the Southeast and ninetieth undergraduate school in the nation—for producing Peace Corps volunteers.
McRoy, now working on her master’s degree in speech pathology at UT after earning a bachelor’s degree in vocal performance at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, joined the Peace Corps in 2009. She was sent to Cameroon, a republic in Central Africa, where she worked with community groups on basic health education. During her two years there, McRoy’s involvement with the community expanded to other projects such as creating a savings program, forming a medicinal plant group, and promoting the use of soy as a protein supplement.
Applicants interested in the Peace Corps typically need to have a bachelor’s degree and should expect to be abroad for about twenty-seven months. Applicants chosen for the Peace Corps are given a living allowance that “enables them to live in a manner similar to the people in their community” and are paid $7,425 for a readjustment allowance upon completion of their service. Transportation, dental care, and health care are covered by Peace Corps.
McRoy said people interested in the Peace Corps who complete applications by February 28 are guaranteed to be considered for departure before April 2014.
Information about the Peace Corps will be available at a table that will be set up from 9:00 to 10:00 a.m. Monday through Wednesday, February 25 through February 27, in Humanities Plaza.
Here are the activities planned for Peace Corps Week:
Saturday, February 23—From 9:00 a.m. to noon. Peace Corps alumni, applicants, and anyone interested in learning more about the Peace Corps are invited to work with the SEEED Project at 1617 Dandridge Avenue in downtown Knoxville. While enjoying some networking time, the group will clean up a fence line and do prep work for an edible forest to be planted.
Monday, February 25—Returned Peace Corps volunteers, current applicants, and nominees will gather for an invitation-only social event from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. at the International House. The event will provide a chance for people who are going through the process to talk to volunteers who have served.
Wednesday, February 27—A panel discussion from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. in the International House will feature returned Peace Corps volunteers. This event is free and open to the public.
Thursday, February 28—McRoy will meet with anyone interested in learning more about the Peace Corps at the weekly coffee hour, which be held from 9:00 to 10:00 a.m. at the Starbucks in Hodges Library.
Saturday, March 2—Peace Corps alumni, applicants, and anyone interested in learning more about the Peace Corps are invited to help out at Second Harvest food bank from 9:00 a.m. to noon. This is another event where networking will coincide with volunteer work.
C O N T A C T :
Amanda McRoy (865-974-3177 or firstname.lastname@example.org)
Amy Blakely (865-974-5034, email@example.com)