Letter to the editor: Recruiting for peace

As the Peace Corps recruiter at the University of Vermont, I would like to respond to the article ÒLocal nonprofit seeks more volunteers.Ó

As a professional service organization, the Peace Corps offers many unique benefits, including no fees (volunteers are actually provided a stipend, which covers basic living expenses), medical coverage, career support upon return to the United States, an unparalleled reputation and graduate college scholarship opportunities.

The Peace Corps also partners with a number of organizations to help prepare volunteers to support community projects around the world.

We encourage applicants to gain volunteer experience both overseas and here at home and to continue their community service efforts when they return to the U.S.

In addition to volunteer experience, applicants need flexibility and a willingness to serve where the need is greatest.

For example, while Peace Corps considers geographical preferences, we place volunteers where their skills match the needs of the host countries.

This ensures that, in addition to connecting with a new culture and building relationships, volunteers can make a meaningful contribution while overseas.

While volunteers are assigned to work in program sectors including education, health and agriculture, they are also able to develop additional projects to benefit their host communities.

These secondary projects are often where a volunteerÕs passions and a communityÕs needs intersect.

Following in VermontÕs tradition of community building and service, the University of Vermont is nationally ranked for the high number of alumni who serve as Peace Corps volunteers.

Readers who would like to learn more about how they can make a difference in a community overseas are welcome to contact me at (802) 656-8269 or [email protected]

As a former Peace Corps volunteer, a Peace Corps Fellow here at UVM, and the current recruiter, I am forever grateful to the organization and how it has allowed me to grow as both a person and a professional dedicated to service.

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Sincerely,

Kelly K. Dolan

Peace Corps Recruiter

The University of Vermont

[email protected]