Recruiters Bring Peace Corps to HBCUs and MSIs Throughout Mississipp
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November 7, 2016
CONTACT: Darrah Perryman, Public Affairs Specialist, [email protected]
CHICAGO, IL, November 7, 2016 – Peace Corps recruiters Natalie Felton and Stephanie Wade recently wrapped up the first Peace Car tour of minority serving institutions and historically black colleges and universities throughout the Mississippi area.
The educational tour, which began Oct. 13, made stops at Tougaloo College, Mississippi State University, Coahoma Agriculture High School, Delta State University, Mississippi Valley State University, Alcorn State University, Belhaven University, and Jackson State University in an effort to reach qualified, underserved communities.
“The true inspiration for this tour derived from wanting to reach and share the possibility of Peace Corps as a postgraduate or post-retirement opportunity with diverse groups,” Felton said. “This led to personalized and intimate conversations with students on a career path that could take their collegiate experience overseas.”
From parades and homecoming events to focused informational sessions, the recruiters engaged in meaningful conversations across the campuses with the help of key contacts, including the men of Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity Inc., who established a partnership with the Peace Corps in 2014.
“We partnered with six Alpha Phi Alpha chapters during the course of this tour. These are men who have been taught beginning their freshman year to know the value of investing in the human capital of the world through awareness, advocacy, and action,” Wade said. “The organization values brotherhood, academic excellence, and leadership. Each of these teachings and values align with the work of Peace Corps Volunteers.”
The student population and surrounding community welcomed the recruiters with open arms, and even helped spread the word about the events they were hosting throughout the tour.
“The biggest lesson our tour taught me is that you can’t plan everything,” Wade said. “Some of our best connections came from making ourselves available and talking to people.”
Wade and Felton also gave presentations to the Beta Theta chapter of Omega Psi Phi fraternity at Mississippi Valley State, and forged new relationships with the Dean of the College of Business, Dr. Ramin C. Maysami and Interim Associate Dean of the College of Education, Dr. Millard Bingham at Jackson State University. During their meetings, they discussed Peace Corps Prep, a program that prepares undergraduate students for Peace Corps service.
But colleges weren’t the only stops on Wade and Felton’s tour.
The pair also made an appearance at Coahoma Agriculture High School, an African American agriculture high school in Mississippi. Qualified applicants for Peace Corps’ agriculture work sector are in high demand to support communities around the world who face food security issues, and introduce farmers to various new techniques.
Hoping to inspire students early in their education, Wade and Felton discussed international career opportunities available as Peace Corps agriculture Volunteers.
“This tour is very important to Peace Corps and Peace Corps recruiters,” Wade said. “It highlights the importance of outreach to underrepresented populations.”
Demonstrating Peace Corps’ commitment to reaching and engaging diverse populations, another team of recruiters made stops at eastern and southern HBCUs last week. Their two-week long trip concludes this week, ending at Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia.
“We constantly felt the need to give more,” Wade said. “The southern hospitality is strong in Mississippi, and we’re very grateful to have been a part of it.”
About the Peace Corps: The Peace Corps sends the best and brightest Americans abroad on behalf of the United States to tackle the most pressing needs of people around the world. Volunteers work at the grassroots level to develop sustainable solutions that address challenges in education, health, economic development, agriculture, environment and youth development. Through their service, Volunteers gain a unique cultural understanding and a life-long commitment to service that positions them to succeed in today’s global economy. Since President John F. Kennedy established the Peace Corps in 1961, nearly 220,000 Americans of all ages have served in 140 countries worldwide. For more information, visit www.peacecorps.gov and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.