Central Florida Reflections on the Peace Corps

“During my second year we began working with a USAID well-digging specialist who came to my village on Lake Chad and worked with me and a team of villagers to put in the first small bore well that was dug by the Peace Corps in that area. Seeing the satisfaction of the people of Doum Doum with their new well was indeed a great moment.” Prof. John P. Hutchison, PhD India 1965 - 1968 Apopka, FL 32703

“While my original objective was to provide Peruvian middle to lower economic classes with the means to upgrade their residential housing, I amplified my own status in coming to know and love new friends and family members, as I came to marry my Peruvian wife, who bore our three children. Since then, we visit Peru regularly and rejoice in the relationship that has developed between our extended families and generations in progress. The world has changed for all of us and will never be the same, for the better. And I will forever be grateful for the opportunity given me by my country through the Peace Corps.” Edward Rickard Peru 1963-1964 Deltona, FL 32725

“(My proudest Peace Corps moment was) Receiving a letter of commendation from our Peace Corps Director, and the reward(s) from designing a variety of buildings for a 'New Community, outside of Tunis. There remains within me the thought/premise that I did something beneficial for my country as well as my host country.” I.S.K. "Keith" V. Reeves Tunisia 1964-1965 Winter Park, FL 32789

Central Florida Reflections on the Peace Corps

“I learned a lot about myself as well as learning great teaching tools that engage the learner. Taking these things with me back to my city (after Peace Corps) and reapplying them was so satisfying.” Eileen M. Kelly Ukraine 2012 -2014 Winter Park, FL 32792

“Living in another culture for two years was an unforgettable experience. I think it has given me more tolerance and understanding of those who are different from me. I have continued to be a volunteer in other ways since returning. It seems to be in my nature. I was a Big Sister for several years to a 12-year-old. She is now 46, and we are still in touch!” Jeannine P. Arra Uganda 1968 – 1970 Melbourne, FL 32901

“The Peace Corps went on to impact my work life as well as my personal life. I went on to work in economic and community development for the state of Ohio and Kansas City Regional Council. Eventually, I returned to teaching accounting and chairing the accounting and marketing departments at Central Connecticut State University. I helped develop accounting curricula in transitioning economies such as Sicily, Moldova, Poland, and Belarus.” Jane Young Stoneback PhD Liberia 1968 – 1970 Cape Canaveral, FL 32920

“For me, the Peace Corps Community represents a talented collection of adventurous, conscientious, and driven individuals who have embraced an ethos of service while recognizing that one's community is not defined by boundaries of language, race, and nationality, but by a recognition of our common humanity.” Jaime Ignacio Teijeiro Kazakhstan 2008 – 2010 Rockledge, FL 32955

Central Florida Reflections on the Peace Corps “(Peace Corps is) An organization committed to demonstrating love, compassion, and care. The Peace Corps allows experiences you can’t have any other way. People have the same needs, wants, and desires everywhere.” Delores A. Johnson Nepal 2002 - 2004 Brandon, FL 33510

“One (Peace Corps) accomplishment included completing a latrine project for all families of a rural aldea who had previously gone to the bathroom in their fields; during the rainy season, this resulted in contamination of their drinking water with parasites and causing high rates of diarrhea and infant mortality…Through a community group of volunteers, we got the job done together. Shaking the hands of the members of the community after our collaboration was a proud moment of accomplishment” Christine Grovenstein Guatemala 1988 – 1991 Lithia, FL 33547

“My best moment was revising the Koror baseball stadium. The old one was a patchwork assembly built of salvaged landing strip pieces from World War II. The new stadium had rust-resisting aluminum beams and roofing. The stands had fiberglass seats and a concrete tiered floor. Photos were sent to me after it was completed by another volunteer.” Dennis Bender Palau 1974-1976 Seffner, FL 33584

“My Peace Corps experience has resulted in 53 years of service. After serving my two years as a Peace Corps volunteer, I worked as a counselor with the Job Corps, served in the military, worked 30 years as a teacher, served as a city councilman, and now volunteer as coach for First Tee of Clearwater Florida.” Paul Sarcione Dominican Republic 1963-1965 Clearwater, FL 33765

Central Florida Reflections on the Peace Corps

“(Peace Corps) enhanced my concerns for environmental activism and gave me a broader perspective of public health issues.”​
  John S. Thompson Nepal 1992 – 1994 Seminole, FL 33772

“Serving as a Peace Corps Volunteer was an honor and a privilege. As I reflect back, I understand that I continually receive more that I gave serving in the Peace Corps. My service began with a desire to help the less fortunate. I hope I helped others; I know I became more fortunate.” Joan Kelly Liberia 1965 – 1967 Seminole, FL 33776

“Upon return to the US, I promulgated my Peace Corps volunteer experience as a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer with pleasure. Thank you, Peace Corps, for the awesome lifetime experiences as it inspired me to return to Malawi in 2007 and 2010 with two large suitcases filled with educational items and toothbrushes and paste for the orphans and children and visit lifelong friends whom I continue to stay in contact with.” Kathleen Hebrink Malawi 2003 – 2005 Avon Park, FL 33825

“(Peace Corps means) a way to introduce the American ideals and beliefs to others without war or other forceful means.” Elizabeth D. Thul Nigeria 1964 – 1965 Winter Haven, FL 33884

Central Florida Reflections on the Peace Corps

“Even though some of that idealism gets lost amongst the trials and tribulations of life, the Peace Corps Community still tries to build those bridges with people in other countries who need assistance, understanding, and support. Many returned volunteers have also contributed greatly to trying to make this country a more compassionate and civil society through education, community service, government at all levels, and outreach to other countries. I think the community understand we cannot live as a country in isolation, and we need to help others, regardless of where they are in the world, including in our country.” Ronald W. Owens Colombia 1965 – 1967 Bradenton, FL 34202

“I feel I was very fortunate in being able to serve in the Peace Corps. A big impression I am left with is I can live and work in a totally different environment than I experience here in America.” Mary L. Martin Tunisia, 1991-1993 Osprey, FL 34229

“It was an extreme accomplishment to live in a country as foreign as Ethiopia, to cope with deprivation, to learn about other cultures, and to successfully work in that culture.” Rosemary E. Heller Ethiopia 1972 – 1973 Sarasota, FL 34231

“My Peace Corps experiences prepared and introduced me to a 20-year career in international development in 11 countries.” Randall E. Trudelle Afghanistan 1968 – 1969; Bolivia 1970 – 1971; Peru 1971 – 1972 Sarasota, FL 34234

Central Florida Reflections on the Peace Corps

“(My favorite Peace Corps memory was) Meeting people from another culture, learning a new language, and camaraderie from working together to help others.” James W. Graham Nicaragua 1970 – 1971 Winter Garden, FL 34787

“​Shortly upon my arrival at my site, I was approached by several farmers who wanted to participate in the free market economy of the western world. Over a two-year period, I was able to assist the farmer’s plan, organize, and establish a farmer’s cooperative. The process began by submitting and receiving a grant from USAID. Upon completion of my tour, the farmers established a co-operative that included a physical location for an office that centralized their efforts to grow and market their products. Also, the co-operative served as a resource center for students at the technical school.” Francis J. Macner Jr. Ukraine, 1994-1996; Slovakia, 2000-2001 Jensen Beach, FL 34957

“(Peace Corps) reinforced my desire to enter into international business and to be a success for the last 40 years.” William J. Messett III Chile 1964 – 1966

Port Saint Lucie, FL 34984

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