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Newington native making a difference overseas in Paraguay

Newington Town Crier, Newington, Connecticut 

As students in Newington High School’s Class of 2014 are propelled into the world this week each will have their own impact, and one school alum is demonstrating what it means to make a difference as a volunteer overseas.

A Class of 2008 graduate of NHS, Jenna Scanlon applied to the Peace Corps in December 2011. She received her assignment in October 2012 and left for Paraguay in February 2013. Now at age 24, she’s been in the country for one year and four months.

As a community health volunteer, Scanlon lives and works in a housing settlement 30 minutes outside Asunción, capital of the South American country. In her time there she has worked on a variety of projects facilitating healthy living, child-raising, sexual health and nutrition. She has led cooking classes, yoga and Zumba classes, and given presentations on sexual abuse and health with the non-governmental organization (NGO) the Dequení Foundation, which helps local children. She also worked on a deforestation project, helped to form a neighborhood committee, and worked in the Corps’ Health Post to educate doctors on community issues.

Additionally, Scanlon has taken on her own projects with the kids, teaching them dance therapy and yoga.

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