Cooking at home with Drew.

Visiting Mama Kamau.

Some of the staff and students.

Name: Jen Denzin
U-M Affiliation: Alumni

Where do you work?

Saline High School

When did you serve in the Peace Corps?


Where did you serve (which country/countries)?


What were your main responsibilities as a volunteer?

I taught English at Ololulung'a Secondary School outside of Narok.

Is there a specific person (or persons) who made a strong impression on you during that time?

Other than my husband Drew, the staff and students of Ololulung'a Secondary School had the biggest impact on my service. I also remember Mama Kamau, our homestay mother. No one welcomed us with a bigger smile.

What was one of the most memorable moments you had as a volunteer?

I'll always remember looking at our house on our way into town and thinking, this place is our home.

In what ways did your Peace Corps experience affect your life and/or career decisions?

Upon returning from the Peace Corps, I revisited my experience with service learning through the Ginsberg Center and the LUCY initiative. Now, I teach a service learning composition course at Saline High. It is my hope that the course will encourage students to give in meaningful and thoughtful ways.

In what ways did your U-M education, both inside and outside the classroom, prepare you for your Peace Corps experience?

My experience with Project Community and the Ginsberg Center provided me with an understanding of the social and societal demands and benefits of giving.

What advice would you give to others who are contemplating going into the Peace Corps?

If you've ever wanted to share your talents, experience a new world, learn from another culture, or broaden your worldview, do it.

What is the value gained from the Peace Corps experience?

I learned more about who I was as a person, a wife, and a friend. I also learned more about my relative place in this big, big world.

What lessons did you learn in the Peace Corps that you carry with you today?

When you serve others, you want to work yourself out of your job. Let's make this work- without me.

Back to stories index.