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Peace Corps Response Welcomes 73-Year-Old as First Volunteer to Serve in Expanded Program

WASHINGTON, D.C., April 30, 2012 – Dorothy Burrill, 73, begins her six-month Peace Corps Response service today, working as the first non-returned Peace Corps volunteer to serve in the expanded program. Burrill of Marion, Mass., will work with the Jamaican ministry of education to develop an anti-bullying program with schools and other community stakeholders that work with at-risk youth in the Kingston area.

In January, Peace Corps announced an expansion of the Peace Corps Response program to allow Americans with at least 10 years of work experience and required language skills to apply for volunteer assignments. Peace Corps Response, which offers short-term, specialized volunteer assignments, has historically only been available to returned Peace Corps volunteers (RPCVs).

“I’ve been in love with [the Peace Corps] since I heard of it,” said Burrill, who has three grown children. “I have six grandchildren. I can’t imagine children being able to flourish in an environment [with bullying]. I love Jamaica and I love the people and I hope that we can make a difference. I hope that we can we can make it a country-wide program.”

In Jamaica, Burrill will work with a local community center that provides counseling service to children, adolescents and their families to help establish an anti-bullying curriculum for troubled youth in the provinces surrounding Kingston. The new program will focus on strategies to keep youth safe, and find creative ways to engage them on bullying prevention. Burrill will also help train other educators and staff on the new curriculum to help build local capacity and eventually expand to other schools and community groups.

Burrill was 37-year-old single mother when she started at Cape Cod Community College. She went on to receive a bachelor’s in business administration at Boston University in 1981 and a master’s in public administration from Harvard University in 1982. Burrill later taught college-level economics, business and social science courses. She also helped open a women’s center and a transitional center for women and men, and procured $1.5 million in grants for education programs in her community.

Peace Corps Response volunteers receive the same benefits as Peace Corps volunteers including: transportation to and from their country of service, comprehensive medical care, a modest - stipend, vacation days, and a readjustment allowance of $375 for each month of service. To be considered for a position with Peace Corps Response, applicants must have the necessary language, technical, and cross-cultural skills needed to excel in their assignments. The program recruits flexible, motivated, and culturally sensitive individuals who can adapt to changing situations and effectively engage diverse populations.

To view current openings and to submit an application, please visit:
www.peacecorps.gov/response/apply.

About Peace Corps/Jamaica: More than 3,720 Peace Corps volunteers have served in Jamaica since the program was established in 1962. Currently, 58 volunteers serve in Jamaica. Volunteers work in the areas of education, community and youth development, environment and agriculture. Volunteers are trained and work in Jamaican Patois.

About the Peace Corps: Since President John F. Kennedy established the Peace Corps by executive order on March 1, 1961, more than 200,000 Americans have served in 139 host countries. Today, 9,095 volunteers are working with local communities in 75 host countries. Peace Corps volunteers must be U.S. citizens and at least 18 years of age. Peace Corps service is a 27-month commitment and the agency’s mission is to promote world peace and friendship and a better understanding between Americans and people of other countries. Visit www.peacecorps.gov for more information.

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