Me in our apartment in Monrovia circa 1968

Name: Mike Downs
U-M Affiliation: Alumni

Where do you work?

Self employed iPhone applications developer

When did you serve in the Peace Corps?


Where did you serve (which country/countries)?

Liberia, West Africa

What were your main responsibilities as a volunteer?

Taught chemistry, mathematics, and physics at St. Patrick's High School

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

Travelling cross country to a small village, Grand Cess, on the coast to teach in-service Liberian teachers new methods for teaching mathematics

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

Resulted in me spending my entire career in environmental protection in Oregon and Florida

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

UM opened my mind so that I was ready to make the decision to try the Peace Corps

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

Just do it. It is a very rewarding, life-altering experience

What is the value gained from the Peace Corps experience?

I gained the wisdom to always be open to new ideas and to learn from other cultures.

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

Do not be afraid to try new experiences and don't listen to the naysayers who think they have all the answers (e.g. Glenn Beck, Bill O'Reilly, etc.)

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