Groups discuss service options
Saint Mary's held a postgraduate service panel Wednesday with representatives from the Peace Corps, Americorps and Holy Cross Associates. The panel discussed issues and answered questions about service opportunities that are becoming popular options for college graduates.
The Peace Corps is a two-year program, three months of training in needed skills and knowledge of a country's culture and customs. Assignments can be in education, business, environment, agriculture, health and community development. Although volunteers can suggest which country they want to work in, the decisions are made by the Peace Corps.
Sylvia Jumawan worked in Niger as a health volunteer. She chose the Peace Corps because she wanted to work overseas and for the protection it offers in a foreign environment.
"The skills you learn in the field you are able to bring into any work situation. You find out what your goals are and what is important to you," Jumawan said.
The Peace Corps has three goals, which include creating skilled volunteers, to impart on others who Americans are, and to get the people who are taught to teach the Americans about their own culture.
Sarah Chaudoir and David Wilkeson spoke about their experiences while working through Americorps, another volunteer program.
"The real value is that you are out there learning and you do receive monetary compensation for room and board," Chaudoir said.
Americorps works to help children read make safer neighborhoods, building affordable homes and helping with natural disasters. It is a one-year program that can be renewed every year.
"The biggest challenge is becoming emotionally drained but as I continued to serve my passion grew. You have to have a passion to serve," Wilkeson said.
Anne Moriarity spoke about opportunities availed with Holy Cross Associates. The Holy Cross Associates is a program that offers participants an opportunity to integrate their Christian faith through service, community living, prayer and simple lifestyle. There are several sites across America, which ask for one year of service and then a two-year program in Chile. Volunteer placements include homeless services, education, neglected children and many others.
The panel also stressed that it is important to find the volunteer opportunity that is best for you. Doing research into different programs and a complete understanding of what a year or two as a volunteer you gain and lose.
The Peace Corps will be at Notre Dame conducting on-campus interviews Feb. 20. Interviews can be scheduled through the Notre Dame Career Center.
All News Stories for Thursday, January 31, 2002