Posts tagged ‘peace corps’

April 14, 2009

My Experience with the Peace Corps

As you may know, I a public affairs intern with the Peace Corps at their regional Boston office. And today, I finalized that my last day is going to be May 1st, which means I only have 4 more days in the office (I only work Mondays and Fridays, but next Monday is Patriot’s Day here in the fine state of Massachusetts.) And I’m kind of upset about that. Everyone I’ve met in the Peace Corps, whether Peace Corps employees, Returned Peace Corps Volunteers, or current PC Volunteers, are unfailingly caring and supportive. PC employees and volunteers, especially those who work in my regional office, instill hope that I can make a difference because they have changed the world during their service abroad, and continue to do so everyday with their work in the Peace Corps. I’m not sure I could ever make it as a Peace Corps volunteer. (I’m a wimp when it comes to extreme climate, strange food, and being far away from my mom.) But I certainly hope that I have helped at least one person decide to join during my time at the Peace Corps since October.

The Peace Corps also gave me a mentor. She’s Joanna, and she used to be my boss before she had the world’s cutest baby girl and decided to stay home with her full time. Her courage to put her family before her career is only one aspect of her that I hope to mirror. She gets to the office early and stays late. She’s detail-oriented, enthusiastic about her work, a terrific writer, very organized, and an engaging conversationalist. Her kindness and love for others comes through in every word she speaks, writes, and often texts. It was working with Joanna that solidified my idea that, “Yeah, communications is what I want to do with my life.” I have a few personal heroes that share some of these characteristics with Joanna (my mom in particular), but it was seeing how all these qualities came together to make a great communicator that gave me that extra push to feel that I could do this. Working in PR suits me, my personality, my skills. And I don’t have to sacrifice my creativity and desire to help others to be successful in this field- it’ll only help me.

Though my last day at PC is approaching and I know I’ll miss it, I feel like I’m leaving with skills, confidence, and enthusiasm for whatever lies ahead. I just hope that I helped others during my time as a Public Affairs Intern with the Peace Corps as much as the Peace Corps helped me. But I guess that’s what the Peace Corps is all about, isn’t it?

Peace Corps

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April 1, 2009

Hujambo el mundo!

As Dr. McDreamy might say, “It’s a beautiful day to start blogging, let’s get started.”

OK, so I like Grey’s Anatomy (Alyssa Fact #1).  But I also started a non-profit. (Alyssa Fact #2)  So, yes, I’m a bit of a girlie girl in that I swoon at Patrick Dempsey, but I’m also a bit of an idealist/activist.  So this blog will mostly be my attempt at finding a intersection with my love of pop culture and my desire to change the world.

So, my motto for this blog will be my favorite quote from Walt Whitman”s ‘Song of Myself’,  “Do I contradict myself? Very well then I contradict myself, (I am large, I contain multitudes).”

I had to take a poetry class two semesters ago and though it was very difficult, I take this quote to be the most useful thing I learned all semester. (Alyssa Fact #3: I’m a college student at Boston University.*)

So, finding the right balance between these different aspects of myself will be interesting, I think.  One place I’ve found that I feel like the rule rather than the exception, is at my internship at the Peace Corps (Alyssa Fact #4).  I’m a public affairs intern at the Boston office, so I basically do a lot of event support, answering inquiries, and contacting the media.  But it’s all to get people to join the Peace Corps, which I think is pretty freaking awesome.  I love being at an internship where I can think that while I’m printing postcards and answering emails, people are changing the world (or going to be in the near future) because of what we (at the Peace Corps) are doing.

Anyway, back to the blog, I decided to make this a blog for the non-profit I co-founded because I want donors or volunteers or other idealists an idea of who’s behind it.  Well, then, hi!! *waves*  (Alyssa Fact #5: I’m a dork.)  I think I’m going to post later today on how AIA began.  But pretty much, my co-founder (Brendan Callahan) and I always talked about how we wanted to start a non-profit (specifically to help schools in Africa) and then one day he said, “Why don’t we just start now?” And me, being the idealist that I am, said “Okay.”  Fast forward through 8 months, mounds of IRS paperwork, and the beginning of a marketing campaign, and Achieve in Africa is REAL and has almost $4,000 for schools in Africa. My reaction: “Weeeee!!”  It’s been sometimes stressful, overwhelming and frustrating, but always, always rewarding.  And I have no doubt we will change the world, one school at a time.

OK, I’m off to get some lunch and buy more pens at CVS!

Talk to you soon,

Alyssa

Clarification: I love going to BU and most of the classes are beyond helpful.  I would like to say that about 90% of classes I’ve taken here have been enjoyable and I’ve learned alot. Unfortunately, this particular class was not one of them.  But we’re all bound to end up with those.  I just want to clarify, not only because one of my professors will be reading this blog (Hi Professor Quigley!) but also because I honestly would not rather be at any college but BU and I don’t want to set a precedent that this will be a ranting-about-my-school blog.