Natalie Felton, a U.S. Peace Corps diversity recruiter, along with Pamela D. Moore, Associate Dean for Global Engagement and Peace Corps Prep Program Director at UAPB, spoke to students recently about programs for undergraduate students and how to get involved.
The informational was held in the J.M. Ross Auditorium in the Hathaway-Howard Fine Arts Building located at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff.
The Peace Corps is a service opportunity for motivated change makers to immerse themselves in a community abroad, working side by side with local leaders to tackle the most pressing challenges of our generation.
The mission of the Peace Corps is to promote world peace and friendship by fulfilling three goals: To help the people of interested countries in meeting their need for trained men and women, to help promote a better understanding of Americans on the part of the peoples served, and to help promote a better understanding of other peoples on the part of Americans according to the Peace Corps website.
A press release stated that Felton began her volunteer service for the Peace Corps in the Republic of Vanuatu in the South Pacific, where she worked from 2011 to 2015. In 2015, she returned to her hometown of Chicago, Illinois, where she joined the U.S. Peace Corps Agency as a diversity recruiter.
Felton described her experience as a returning volunteer turned paid employee with the Peace Corps and explained benefits to the students.
“It’s time to expand your minds outside of the walls of the country,” said Felton. “It is important to go overseas and experience different cultures and learn different languages.”
Felton explained that the Peace Corps should be considered a leadership training program and requires two years of commitment. Though it is a volunteer program, she stated that funds are provided for the trip to and from the country, and funds are provided for home and shelter in the country, being that it is a federally funded program. “Upon the completion of the program, each volunteer receives $9000 before taxes to assist with life after the volunteering experience,” said Felton.
Moore explained the Peace Corps Prep Program to the students and offered assistance for those that may be interested.
“You can volunteer for the Peace Corps at any age, even after retirement, but if you are ready now, help is available,” said Moore.
According to the program booklet given at the informational, the Peace Corps Prep Program at UAPB provides a conceptual and experiential framework for building upon and integrating an education abroad experience into students’ broader academic program. Thus, this program complements and adds value to the education abroad experience. Peace Corps Prep is implemented under a Memorandum of Understanding signed and authorized by both UAPB and the U.S. Peace Corps.
For more information about the Peace Corps, click here to visit their website.