Former Rockwell resident, Catawba graduate among first Peace Corps volunteers returning overseas – Salisbury Post

Former Rockwell resident, Catawba graduate among first Peace Corps volunteers returning overseas

Posted at 12:00 p.m. on Sunday, August 14, 2022

Renée (Menius) Alexander, a former Rockwell resident and Catawba College graduate in 1991, is among the first Peace Corps volunteers to return to overseas service since the agency’s unprecedented global evacuation in March 2020. The Peace Corps suspended global operations and evacuated nearly 7,000 volunteers from more than 60 countries at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Volunteers who shared their stories of meaningful service, lifelong friendships, and cultural connections have motivated me to join the Peace Corps. I hope to achieve fluency in Spanish; provide a positive example of American citizenship; and learning different ways of living, looking at life, and solving problems. I’m excited to integrate into another country and another culture,” Alexander said in a Peace Corps press release.

Alexander earned a bachelor’s degree in communication arts and psychology. She lives in San Fransisco.

“The world is at a critical moment. The largest global vaccination effort in history is underway while other widespread health, social, political and environmental issues continue to erode the foundations of our global society. Actions taken over the next few years have the potential to fundamentally impact development trajectories for decades to come,” said Peace Corps CEO Carol Spahn. “Peace Corps volunteers returning to Colombia will work alongside community members to support urgent development efforts and build critical connections.”

The volunteer cohorts are made up of first-time volunteers and volunteers who were evacuated in early 2020. Upon completion of a three-month training, volunteers will collaborate with their host communities on local priority projects in one of the six sectors of the Peace Corps – agriculture, community economic development, education, environment, health or developmental youth – and all will participate in the work of response and recovery from COVID-19 .

Currently, the agency is recruiting volunteers to serve in 48 countries around the world at the request of host country governments, in order to connect through the Peace Corps’ local approach across communities and cultures. Volunteers have already returned to a total of 23 countries around the world. The Peace Corps continues to monitor COVID-19 trends in all of its host countries and will send volunteers to serve as conditions permit. Americans interested in transformative service and lifelong relationships should apply for Peace Corps service at www.peacecorps.gov/apply.

Peace Corps is an international service network of volunteers, community members, host country partners, and employees driven by the agency’s global peace and friendship mission. At the invitation of governments around the world, Peace Corps Volunteers work alongside community members on local priority projects in education, health, environment, agriculture, community economic development and youth development. Through service, Peace Corps Network members develop transferable skills and hone cross-cultural skills that position them to be the next generation of global leaders. Since President John F. Kennedy created the Peace Corps in 1961, more than 240,000 Americans have served in 142 countries around the world. For more information, go to peacecorps.gov.

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