Peace Corps Experience
- Cornell University
- 2013 (expected)
- International Agricultural and Rural Development
- St. Olaf College
- BA in Biology and Environmental Studies
Right after graduating from St. Olaf College with a BA in Biology and Environmental Studies, I started the Master's International program at Cornell in the International Agricultural and Rural Development field. During my year at Cornell, I broadened my understanding of international agriculture and learned different theories and strategies regarding development. Throughout my Peace Corps service in Senegal from 2009-2013, I applied these skills and strategies at the local and national level. During my two years in my village, I managed a seed extension program with over 100 farmers in 23 villages, started a 1 hectare demonstration and training site with a local farmer, provided technical assistance to numerous gardeners, and organized trainings and meetings regarding such topics as Moringa, nutrition, and the importance of girls education, among other things. As a third year Volunteer based in the capital, I assisted with training new Volunteers and providing them with technical and community integration advice. I also assisted with expanding Peace Corps Senegal's food security program to involve not only agriculture and agroforestry activities, but also nutrition, food transformation, and agribusiness. I learned so much about myself and about development during my Peace Corps service. I will forever be grateful to my host family in my village and to the other friends I made in Senegal throughout my service. Senegal has become a second home to me, and I will always look at life with a softer yet more critical eye because of this experience.