Peace corps make a difference

By Chloe Wilhelm - Staff Reporter

Being a Peace Corps volunteer is a valuable and educational experience, Highline faculty members said at a panel on Wednesday.

The Peace Corps Panel allowed faculty members to share their Peace Corps experiences.

Jenn Ritchey, who led the panel and served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Swaziland from 2008 to 2010, worked in public health and focused on education to reduce the high HIV/AIDS rate in Swaziland.

"We did everything and anything we could to make a difference in the community," she said.

Dr. James Peyton, who teaches economics and served in the Dominican Republic from 1990 to 1992, worked in youth development and supported women's and youth groups.

He said that it was an international experience that gave him "cross-cultural appreciation."

Monica LeMoine, who teaches English at Highline, said that she really enjoyed being an ESL teacher in Uzbekistan from 1998 to 2000 as part of the Peace Corps.

"I learned about the importance of relationships, friendships, and family," she said.

John Traugott, director of Community and Employment Services who served in Albania from 2007 to 2009, focused on organizational development and worked with non-profits. He said that he learned a lot while volunteering.

Jenn Ritchey said that volunteering made her realize that she could make a difference.

"There is a world around us that needs our support," she said. "We can make a difference. … It's up to us."

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