Lititz Resident Begins Peace Corps Service in Botswana

Alex Swan
Lititz resident Alex Swan will depart for Botswana on July 30 to serve as a Peace Corps Volunteer.

Alex Swan, 22, of Lititz, Pennsylvania, has been accepted into the Peace Corps and will depart for Botswana July 30 to begin training as a Health Volunteer. Swan will live and work in a community to strengthen and expand a life skills curriculum, particularly on HIV/AIDS prevention, for local students.

“The single biggest factor that motivated me to join the Peace Corps is the possibility of ending extreme poverty in the near future – which is estimated to occur around the year 2030 – and along with it, negative symptoms such as the HIV/AIDS crisis, which has negatively affected so many lives,” said Swan. “There was simply no way I could have sat on the sidelines and watched this historical moment, particularly when I feel so energized and prepared to serve and to learn more about the world and its people.”

Swan is the son of Kim and Susan Swan of Lititz, Pennsylvania, and a graduate of Warwick High School in Lititz, Pennsylvania. He attended Messiah College in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, where he earned a B.A. in Politics and International Relations in May 2016. Prior to joining the Peace Corps, he served as a Mexico Cross-Cultural/Perspectives on Development Participant in the Department of Economics at Messiah College, Uganda Community and Savings Loan Associations (CSLA) Site Team Leader for the Collaboratory for Strategic Partnerships and Applied Research at Messiah College, President and Vice President of the Messiah College International Justice Mission, Assistant Director and Agency Coordinator of the Human Rights Awareness of the Agape Center for Service and Learning, Anti-Human Trafficking Intern for World Relief and Resident of Resevoir Hill House of Peace in Baltimore, Maryland.

During the first three months of his service, Swan will live with a host family in Botswana to become fully immersed in the country’s language and culture. After acquiring the necessary skills to assist his community, Swan will be sworn into service and assigned to a community in Botswana, where he will live and work for two years with the local people.

“I am most looking forward to meeting the people, hearing their individual stories and getting to know what daily life is like in Botswana,” Swan said. “In addition, I am interested in learning about the HIV/AIDS crisis in Botswana and how it has affected the lives of so many people. Finally, I am looking forward to hearing about the progress already made and understanding how I can best serve to build capacity and fulfill unmet needs within the community.”

Swan will work in cooperation with the local people and partner organizations on sustainable, community-based development projects that improve the lives of people in Botswana and help Swan develop leadership, technical and cross-cultural skills that will give him a competitive edge when he returns home. Peace Corps Volunteers return from service as global citizens well-positioned for professional opportunities in today’s global job market.

Swan joins the 286 Pennsylvania residents currently serving in the Peace Corps and more than 8,049 Pennsylvania residents who have served in the Peace Corps since 1961.

There has never been a better time to apply to Peace Corps, and reforms have made the process simpler, faster, and more personalized than ever before. In 2014, applications reached a 22-year high for the agency, with more than 17,000 Americans taking the first step toward international service. Through a one-hour online application, applicants can now choose the countries and programs they’d like to be considered for. Browse available volunteer positions at http://www.peacecorps.gov/openings.

Phoenixville Resident Begins Peace Corps Service in Botswana

Maryanne Hayde
Phoenixville resident Maryanne Hayde will be departing for Botswana on July 30 to serve as a Peace Corps Volunteer.

Maryanne Hayde, 25, of Phoenixville, Pennsylvania, has been accepted into the Peace Corps and will depart for Botswana July 30 to begin training as a Health Volunteer. Hayde will live and work in a community to strengthen the implementation of life skills education and assist students in local schools to adopt healthy behaviors.

Hayde first considered applying to the Peace Corps after reading a New York Times essay written by a Returned Volunteer. Since then, she has striven to acquire the necessary education and work experience in achieving her goal of ultimately serving as a Peace Corps Volunteer.

“After researching the opportunities available in the organization, I felt that the work of Peace Corps Volunteers in Botswana closely aligned to my personal and professional interests,” said Hayde, whose uncle also served as a Peace Corps Volunteer several years ago. “Serving in Botswana will be an excellent opportunity for hands on public health and education experience.”

Hayde is the daughter of Kathryne and John Hayde of Phoenixville, Pennsylvania, and a graduate of Phoenixville Area High School in Phoenixville, Pennsylvania. She attended Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where she earned a B.A. in Communications in May 2013. Hayde also earned an M.S. in Urban Education in May 2016 from the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Prior to joining the Peace Corps, she served as a seventh grade Special Education Case Manager at Mastery Shoemaker Charter School, a member of the Teach for America Greater Philadelphia Corps and as an intern for DeSales ServiceWorks in Camden, New Jersey.

During the first three months of her service, Hayde will live with a host family in Botswana to become fully immersed in the country’s language and culture. After acquiring the necessary skills to assist her community, Hayde will be sworn into service and assigned to a community in Botswana, where she will live and work for two years with the local people.

“I view service in the Peace Corps as an opportunity to continue seeking global understanding and to build a healthier interconnected world,” Hayde said. “I am looking forward to supporting the implementation of meaningful HIV/AIDS education at my school site, and to making connections within the community.”

Hayde will work in cooperation with the local people and partner organizations on sustainable, community-based development projects that improve the lives of people in Botswana and help Hayde develop leadership, technical and cross-cultural skills that will give her a competitive edge when she returns home. Peace Corps Volunteers return from service as global citizens well-positioned for professional opportunities in today’s global job market.

Hayde joins the 286 Pennsylvania residents currently serving in the Peace Corps and more than 8,049 Pennsylvania residents who have served in the Peace Corps since 1961.

There has never been a better time to apply to Peace Corps, and reforms have made the process simpler, faster, and more personalized than ever before. In 2014, applications reached a 22-year high for the agency, with more than 17,000 Americans taking the first step toward international service. Through a one-hour online application, applicants can now choose the countries and programs they’d like to be considered for. Browse available volunteer positions at http://www.peacecorps.gov/openings.

Click here to read more about the Peace Corps in Botswana.

Snapshots of Service: Peace Corps Volunteers Display Original Artwork in New Exhibition

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An original photograph, entitled “Kuseka,” taken by Lebanon resident Susan Sandrian during her Peace Corps service in Zambia. Sandrian’s artwork is now on display at the 70 South Gallery, along with that of other Returned Peace Corps Volunteers, as part of its latest exhibition.

On July 16, 70 South Gallery in Morristown, New Jersey, hosted an opening reception for its latest exhibition titled Spirit, which showcases photography that intimately illustrates the Peace Corps experience. The exhibition features 120 photographs by 15 currently serving and Returned Peace Corps Volunteers, including work by New Jersey native Sarah Sandrian, who recently returned from Zambia in May.

 

During the reception, Morristown Mayor Tim Dougherty presented an official proclamation in honor of the special occasion and Elizabeth Chamberlain, Regional Manager of the Peace Corps East Region Recruitment Office in Manhattan, delivered remarks celebrating the artwork and service of Peace Corps Volunteers. The evening also featured a Story Slam in which Returned Peace Corps Volunteers shared their stories of service for guests in attendance.

Southold Resident Begins Peace Corps Service in Cambodia

Samantha Hokanson
Southold resident Samantha Hokanson will depart for Cambodia on July 14 to serve as a Peace Corps Volunteer.

Samantha Hokanson, 25, of Southold, New York, has been accepted into the Peace Corps and will depart for Cambodia July 14 to begin training as an Education Volunteer. Samantha will live and work in a community teaching English to students at a local high school.

“There were so many things running through my mind when I finally decided to apply – the love of adventure, travel, food, culture, language, and the world in general – but what really pushed me was gratitude,” said Samantha of her desire to join the Peace Corps. “I am so thankful to have such an abundance of opportunity in my life and to have family and friends that support me. I want to use my privilege to empower others. ”

Samantha is the daughter of Karen and Richard Hokanson of Southold, New York, and a graduate of Southold High School in Southold, New York. She attended Fordham University in Bronx, New York, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in American Studies with a minor in Psychology in May 2013. Prior to joining the Peace Corps, Samantha worked at O Ya, a Michelin-recommended Japanese restaurant in Manhattan, and served as an assistant media planner at the Manhattan-based media agency Mindshare.

During the first three months of her service, Samantha will live with a host family in Cambodia to become fully immersed in the country’s language and culture. After acquiring the necessary skills to assist her community, Samantha will be sworn into service and assigned to a community in Cambodia, where she will live and work for two years with the local people.

“I’m excited to slow down—to step out of the left lane of Manhattan and learn to live life on village time,” Samantha said. “I am someone who enjoys being constantly busy, so I imagine this will be one of the biggest adjustments for me, but I am looking forward to it.”

Samantha will work in cooperation with the local people and partner organizations on sustainable, community-based development projects that improve the lives of people in Cambodia and help Samantha develop leadership, technical and cross-cultural skills that will give her a competitive edge when she returns home. Peace Corps Volunteers return from service as global citizens well-positioned for professional opportunities in today’s global job market.

Samantha joins the 416 New York State residents currently serving in the Peace Corps and more than 13,527 New York State residents who have served in the Peace Corps since 1961.

Click here to read more about the Peace Corps in Cambodia.

Exploring the ‘Little Adventure in Her Heart’: Chesapeake Resident & Paterson Native Excited for Peace Corps Service in Botswana

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Chesapeake resident Bettie Anderson, 73, will depart for Botswana on July 30 to serve as a Peace Corps Volunteer.
While most try to remember that they should never take life for granted, Bettie Anderson of Chesapeake, Virginia, chooses to live by that principle. Most notably, at age 73, Bettie will depart for Botswana on July 30 to serve in the Peace Corps.

“When we are blessed to have some longevity and our health, I believe that we are to use these gifts to be of service to others,” Bettie said of her desire to join the Peace Corps. “The Peace Corps is a great option for those who have a little adventure in their heart and service at home is good for those who want to serve in the area that they live.”

As a Health Volunteer, Bettie will live and work in a Botswana community to support efforts in providing health services to people living with HIV, the elderly, orphans and vulnerable children.

Though this will be her first time serving as a Volunteer overseas, Bettie is intimately familiar with the Peace Corps’ mission. In 1963, while an undergraduate student at Hampton University, she was appointed to serve as the school’s Peace Corps Recruiter.

“Becoming a part of Peace Corps was a desire that I had more than 50 years ago,” said Bettie. “When my family obligations ended, I knew that it was now time to apply. My vision is to be of service to others and build positive relationships that will promote the best of America.”

Bettie is the mother of Elimu Anderson who resides in San Diego, California, and grandmother of Brevin, 9, and Maleah, 7, who reside in New Jersey.

Bettie attended Eastside High School in Paterson, New Jersey, where she served as editor of the school newspaper, the Criterion. She went on to attend Hampton University in Hampton, Virginia, where she served as editor-in-chief of the university newspaper, the Hampton Script, and earned a bachelor’s degree in sociology in 1964. In 1970, Bettie earned a master’s degree in student personnel services from Montclair State University in Montclair, New Jersey. Prior to joining the Peace Corps, she served as President of the Board of Directors at the Greater Paterson Opportunities Industrialization Center, President of the Paterson YWCA, and Secretary of the Board of Directors at the Association for Equality and Excellence in Education in New York, New York.

Bettie joins the 274 Virginia residents currently serving overseas in the Peace Corps and more than 7,540 Virginia residents who have served in the Peace Corps since 1961.

During the first three months of her Peace Corps service, Bettie will live with a host family in Botswana to become fully immersed in the country’s language and culture. After acquiring the necessary skills to assist her community, Bettie will be sworn into service and assigned to a community in Botswana, where she will live and work for two years with the local people.

“My major goal is to be of assistance in helping people combat a major disease. I also hope to be an effective communicator at home to encourage others to become more active in their own communities or help others in other countries,” said Bettie.

Bettie says she most looks forward to “meeting new people, learning a new language, being of assistance and learning more about a different culture” during her upcoming Peace Corps service.

“We are never too old to be useful and no matter how much service you do – one always learn great lessons that can be shared,” she added. “This means that we are never too old to learn, which to me is very exciting.”

Click here to read more about the Peace Corps in Botswana, or visit our website to learn how you can serve as an older Peace Corps Volunteer.