Name: Rollin Johnson Jr.
U-M Affiliation: Staff

Where do you work?

Ginsberg Center for Community Service & Learning

When did you serve in the Peace Corps?

2003-2005

Where did you serve (which country/countries)?

Nepal & Burkina Faso

What were your main responsibilities as a volunteer?

Business Development Volunteer: advised microfiannce operations in both countries, worked to enhance fair-trade and non-profit capacities within various organizations.

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

My Host Mother in Nepal My site counterpart in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso

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

Nepal: I witnessing a woman's joy after writing her name for on a bank documentation to take out her first loan for her own business.

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

My Peace Corps experience altered my career focus, by first broadening my worldview and secondly, showing me how my business acumen & skill could be leveraged to assist communities in improving their own lives.

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

Be prepared to be flexible and ready to be pushed in your capabilities. At the end of the day, remember whatever you do, the relationships you develop in your country of service are central to your service. Arguably, these relationships are the most important and memorable components of your Peace Corps Service.

What is the value gained from the Peace Corps experience?

Flexibility, resilience, patience, resourcefulness, and appreciation from learning from those around you

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

An understanding that many of the best solutions to a community's challenges/opportunities lie within the people of that community. Many times obsticle to these solution's is people's access and ability to be empowerment to give life to those innovative ideas and solutions. At times,being an outsider or new addition to a community can forward one the unique capacity to highlight those community innovators and the solutions they possess.

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