Name: Richard Baron
U-M Affiliation: Staff

Where do you work?

I am an assistant professor at University of Toledo medical College. Private practice as a psychotherapist

When did you serve in the Peace Corps?

1964-1966

Where did you serve (which country/countries)?

Somalia

What were your main responsibilities as a volunteer?

Taught American language. Started a lending library and various health projects.

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

I had a Somali friend who was schizophrenic and he intorduced me to many local people. We traveled together to distant, isolated villages where I was able to live with Somalis and experience the beauty of their culture.

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

I won't give priority to the many meaningful experiences I had as a vounteer

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

I became a social worker and later was trained to be a child analyist by Anna Freud so that I could help deprived and underprivliged children. I do alot of volunteer work. Recently received a proclamation "Hmanitarian" by the City of Toledo. Among other volunteer activities I work the Major Hurricanes and local disasters for the American Red Cross–Disaster Mental Health Worker.

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

I was waiting by the Student Union when Kennedy pulled up in his auto. I was amazed how easy it was for me to be able to run up to him and shake his hand. I was inspired by his speech. I was part of some Uof M human realtions comittee which promoted the concept of integration. This experience supported my wishes to help others.

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

Make every opportunity to imerse yourself in the culture of your host country. Establish good relationships with local people if you want to make the most of this unique opportunity.

What is the value gained from the Peace Corps experience?

Gives Americans an opportunity to travel and experience personal growth from experiencing the challanges and accomplishments of life and relationships in a different culture.

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

I think I can eat almost anythig, sleep almost anywhere and better cope with preplexity after my Peace Corps experience. My Peace Corps experience helped me to develope a great sense of gratitude for all the many blessings I enjoy living in the USA.

Is there anything else you'd like to add?

I never graduated from the UofM. In order to avoid the draft and get into the Peace Corps I transferred and graduated quicker from the University of Toledo.

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