Peace Corps Experience
- Cornell University
- 2014 (expected)
- City and Regional Planning (MRP)
- University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
- Urban Planning
Upon completing my bachelor's degree, I embarked on the journey as a Peace Corps Volunteer. I was assigned to the northern province of Ilocos Norte in the Philippines. My primary assignment involved coteaching English classes with a Filipino counterpart at the local high school of my site. Together my counterpart and I implemented a remedial reading program at our school and built a reading center for our students with funds that I raised. I also created a waste management and plastic reduction project with the mayor of my site as trash there was either burned or dumped in the river. We applied for and received a grant of $2,100 to hire local women to weave cloth shopping bags for residents to use in lieu of plastic bags. The mayor and I also drafted an ordinance to phase out plastic bag distribution, and held an educational seminar for the community in order to educate them on the dangers of burning plastic bags.
My plastic reduction project encouraged me to enroll in a graduate program in City and Regional Planning to expand my knowledge of the subject. As a graduate student I am a FLAS fellow studying Tagalog. I will return to the Philippines for research and to work as an intern at a nonprofit in the Ifugao region. It is my dream to start my own nonprofit in the Philippines in order to promote clean waste management systems.
Working as a Peace Corps Volunteer truly changed my life for the better. At a young age I had the opportunity to travel, integrate into a different culture, and give service. As an RPCV I can honestly say that my Peace Corps service has inspired me to continue pursuing my interests as a community leader and social activist.