Raising future Peace Corps Volunteers

Name: Linda Baskey
U-M Affiliation: Alumni

Where do you work?

Clague Middle School

When did you serve in the Peace Corps?

1987 - 1990 1993, 1994

Where did you serve (which country/countries)?

Gabon Chad

What were your main responsibilities as a volunteer?

EFL Teacher Trainer

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

There are too many to name.

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

Walking the 11 kilometers home with a student to meet his family and village, in order to gain a better understanding of his life.

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

I continued to be a teacher, though that path may have been chosen regardless. My Peace Corps experience, however, is like a gem shining into my daily life - it colors how I see the world, and helps my eyes (and heart) remain more open to those around me.

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

I studied creative writing and journalism - both tried to expand our understanding of the bigger pictures in this world. Also, this campus seems to be steeped in such an affirming attitude toward the Peace Corps and international work.

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

My god, DO IT!!!!!!!!! Other than having children, I have never taken a better, more life-altering path.

What is the value gained from the Peace Corps experience?

I gained so much more from those I was sent to "help" than I think they ever gained from me. The value is immeasurable.

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

Again, there are more than I can list. One of the most surprising, and unexpected, though, was that I learned to appreciate a wide range of Americans, including people I would have never associated with in the States. I began to understand that everyone truly has value, and that even the most disagreeable among us have worthy characteristics.

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