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.