Two UD seniors selected as Peace Corps volunteers in Africa, South America

Abby Kramer and Kerry Snyder have been selected to go to the Peace CorpsTwo University of Delaware seniors, Abby Kramer and Kerry Snyder, have been selected as Peace Corps volunteers for 2015.

According to the Peace Corps organization, its volunteers “reflect the very best of humanity, innovation and aspiration for a better tomorrow.”

Kramer, an Honors Program student majoring in environmental science, will volunteer in Senegal as an agroforestry extension agent.

“I will be working within a local community to fight agricultural issues such as deforestation and food insecurity,” she said, “while developing more sustainable agricultural practices.”

The current Peace Corps student ambassador on campus, Kramer has been interested in joining the Peace Corps since high school because of her interest in travel and the opportunity to look into broader issues that affect the lives of people around the world.

An Honors Program student majoring in wildlife conservation, Snyder will serve in Paraguay, where she will work with children, farmers and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to promote conservation.

While Snyder has not yet received her permanent location placement in Paraguay, she looks forward to employing knowledge from her major and environmental humanities minor to potentially train teachers, participate in educational work and work on ecotourism projects wherever she is placed in the country.

Snyder’s interest in becoming a more globally engaged citizen is what led her to pursue Peace Corps service.

After studying abroad in Cambodia during her sophomore year, she wanted to do more. “With study abroad there is a lot of observing and seeing what things are like in another country,” Snyder said. “I want to become a part of a community.”

Kramer and Snyder join an elite group of 308 UD alumni who have served as Peace Corps volunteers. Currently 20 UD alumni are still serving in the field.

Applying to be a Peace Corps volunteer

Students interested in applying to the Peace Corps should visit the website for more information. Applicants must be U.S. citizens who are 18 years of age, and should submit their application nine months to one year in advance of their desired departure date. Volunteer opportunities include two-year assignments in more than 60 countries, 3-12 month “high impact” assignments, and one-year physician and nurse volunteer options.

In addition, Kramer will host a Peace Corps screening and panel presentation on Wednesday, March 11, from 7-9 p.m. at the Career Services Center on Academy Street. The event will highlight winners from last year’s video competition, which had as its theme, “What I Wish Americans Knew About My Host Country.”

About the Peace Corps

The Peace Corps is an international volunteer program in which Americans are able to completely immerse themselves in a culture unlike their own. Today, volunteers have the opportunity to serve in one of six sectors — education, health, youth in development, agriculture, environment, or community economic development — in over 64 countries across the world.

Since its inception in 1961 by President John F. Kennedy, nearly 220,000 Americans have served as Peace Corps volunteers in 140 countries worldwide.

March 1 marked the Peace Corps’ 54th anniversary. To commemorate its founding over half a century ago, “Peace Corps Week” celebrations occurred across the United States.

Article by Jessica Franzetti

This article can also be viewed on UDaily.