Where do you work?
Division of Sanitation Facilities Construction, Indian Health Service, Shiprock, NM
When did you serve in the Peace Corps?
October 2006-October 2008
Where did you serve (which country/countries)?
What were your main responsibilities as a volunteer?
Environmental Health: Working with aqueduct committee; teaching health education in school and communities; environmental youth group.
Is there a specific person (or persons) who made a strong impression on you during that time?
The president of Junquito's Panama Verde youth group, Eusebio Santos, 29, is an incredible young leader whose energy and vision are having a big impact on his community. Eusebio and his group established a tree nursery with thousands of trees to address the growing local deforestation of valuable hardwoods.
In what ways did your Peace Corps experience affect your life and/or career decisions?
I decided to continue to work building waterlines for those without running water. Because of my experiences in PC, I decided to live on the Navajo Nation in the community where my work was based, instead of in neighboring New Mexico where there are more ammenities.
In what ways did your U-M education, both inside and outside the classroom, prepare you for your Peace Corps experience?
I was inspired to join the PC by returned volunteers who started Engineers Without Borders. My involvement with Alternative Spring Break opened my eyes to how enriching service-learning experiences are. I also thank those professors who challenged me to consider careers besides private engineering.
What advice would you give to others who are contemplating going into the Peace Corps?
Constantly reflect on what you are experiencing. There are so many opportunities to connect with people in the Peace Corps, take advantage of them to the best of your abilities!
What is the value gained from the Peace Corps experience?
The Peace Corps will challenge you to examine who you are and what service means to you. It will be both humbling and confidence-building. It will broaden your perspective.
What lessons did you learn in the Peace Corps that you carry with you today?
The generosity of the Ngobe people I lived with taught me how to be more generous. Living in a small, poor town taught me the importance of community and neighbors.