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Peace Corps Volunteers Prepare for Service

Fifteen NC State students who will soon be joining the Peace Corps received words of encouragement and advice for their upcoming 27-month service during a send-off celebration on April 24.

The volunteers will soon depart for one of the 60+ countries where Peace Corps volunteers currently serve. These volunteers immerse themselves in a community abroad, working side by side with local leaders in an assigned area: education, health, community economic development (business), environment, agriculture, or youth development.

During the event, returned Peace Corps volunteers spoke with the soon-to-be volunteers about their upcoming service and offered advice based on their own experiences.

Sierra Plato, Peace Corps recruiter for NC State, offered words of advice to the new volunteers from her own experience serving in Costa Rica in the education sector from 2016-18.  

“My advice to you is to keep your mind open to the possibilities of what your service can be. Your openness will fuel your continued excitement that made you join the Peace Corps in the first place,” said Plato.

She also spoke of the lasting impact the Peace Corps experience can have both professionally and personally.

“Resumes are important, but at the end of the day, the little connections you make with your host family and communities you serve are what make a lasting impact on your life.”

The new volunteers had a chance to share what they are most excited and most nervous about in their upcoming Peace Corps journeys. The students shared that they are excited to facilitate community growth and change, teach about their passions, eat new food and listen to new music, and experience a new physical environment. They are nervous about integrating into a new community, learning one or two new languages, the rainy seasons, and leaving their comfort zone at NC State.

NC State is regularly one of the highest-producing universities for Peace Corps volunteers by institution size. Last year, NC State had 40 graduates serving across the world. This cohort of students will be traveling to the following countries: Peru, Morocco, Belize, South Africa, Tanzania, Philippines, The Gambia, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Lesotho, Malawi, Guyana, and the Eastern Caribbean.

Plato is NC State’s recruiter for the Peace Corps and is available to advise students and the community interested in pursuing these volunteer opportunities. Learn more about the Peace Corps and contact Plato for further information.