I joined Peace Corps because I believed in my ability to make a difference in the world. I knew that I wanted to work internationally and found out that I could use my skills for grassroots development projects through Peace Corps. I began my service in Madagascar working with local farmers' associations to increase rice yields, grow organic vegetables, and improve animal husbandry practices. Because of a coup d'etat in Madagascar in 2008 we were evacuated from the country. I continued my service in Zambia. In Zambia I helped farmers diversify their incomes through new skills and expanded crops. Alongside the farmers we arranged for a month-long carpentry skills training that taught agroforestry and forest management skills followed by a month-long carpentry training learning how to make household furniture. At the end of the training the farmers learned business skills to expand their marketing territory and brand their association. By early 2010 farmers were selling their products throughout the region. In Zambia I also worked with farmers groups to increase vegetable yields and with school children to create school gardens and learn about nutrition. When I finished work in Zambia in April 2010 I traveled throughout East Africa from Malawi up to Kenya and across to Morocco.
Upon returning from Peace Corps I worked on Global Fund grants at a large non-profit in Washington, DC coordinating USAID funded assistance projects to countries throughout the world. While DC life was incredible, I returned to school in 2011 to the City and Regional Planning Program at Cornell because of the benefits that came with the Peace Corps Coverdell Fellows program. I jumped on the opportunity to serve as the campus recruiter at Cornell during the 2012–13 academic year because of the commitment that I have to making sure others have similar opportunities to experience and make a difference in our world.