Making a Difference in Africa: Angel Velarde - MHS '98The following excerpt comes from the McKinney Independent School District in McKinney, Texas, and was originally published on January 5, 2012.
Several years ago, Angel Velarde took a risk that would change the direction of his life.
He quit a stable job as a marketing analyst and embarked on a road trip to California. He soon realized that what he really wanted to do was help peopleso he applied to the Peace Corps.
In 2007, Velarde began a two-year assignment in the village of Bangou in the west central African nation of Cameroon. The experience led him to form the American Association for the Development of Bangou, which funds various community projects.
Velarde, 32, now works as a management analyst at the Peace Corps headquarters in Washington, D.C. He graduated from McKinney High School in 1998 and is just one example of former students who are making a difference beyond our community.
Velarde makes the analogy that the world can be viewed as a puzzle with pieces scattered everywhere.
Having those experiences helped me put those pieces together to see what life should be about, he said. Peace Corps at the end of the day is not just development work. Its about relationships and building bridges between different cultures.
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