Asian and Pacific Islander Americans
Asian and Pacific Islander American Heritage Month offers an opportunity to recognize the innumerable contributions of Asian and Pacific Islanders to the mission of Peace Corps. Currently, 257 trainees and volunteers of Asian and Pacific Island descent are serving in 58 countries around the world. Since 1989, more than 1,200 Americans of Asian or Pacific Island heritage have volunteered in Peace Corps. In addition, Peace Corps is proud to have a long history of serving in Asian and Pacific nations. More than 49,000 volunteers have served in 33 countries in this region.
Haiti 2003 - Present
Small Business Development Volunteer
Hometown: Long Island, NY
Jae Hwang is a Korean-American from Long Island, New York, and a 1998 chemistry major from Yale University. After college Jae worked as an investment banker in Manhattan, first with Lazard Frères, and then with J.P. Morgan. In a northeastern Haitian village, Jay applies his banking skills to a rural agricultural environment, where he organizes a community banking project. His target customers are local peanut farmers in need of training in elementary principles of bookkeeping, election of bank officers, and secure record-keeping. In the future, Jae plans to help these farmers establish micro-lending procedures to earn additional interest on their deposits. "Haitians think about money a lot, perhaps because they do not have much of it," Jae says. He builds on this basic financial interest to make the community bank profitable.
Youth Development Volunteer
Hometown: Valparaiso, IN
Mariko Lin was only the second youth development volunteer to work in her large eastern Nepalese city. Mariko helps with the operations of a youth resource center which offers library services, telephone, and internet facilities to local youth, university students, social workers and government staff. The center also organizes activities and acts as a meeting place for 320 local youth volunteer leaders. Mariko is responsible for organizing the youth volunteer leaders and center activities. She works with local, national and international leaders to secure resources and coordinate the centers activities.
Dominican Republic 2001-2003
Hometown: Seattle, WA
When Angie Fujioka met Yudelka Almonte in February 2002, Yudelka had been suffering in a public hospital for three months following a brutal attack by a co-worker resulting in burns covering 50 percent of her body. The public hospital was not equipped to treat the severe burns, and Yudelka was bedridden and severely malnourished, weighing less than 80 pounds. With Angie's help, Yudelka was taken to a Reconstructive Surgery Medical Mission where several Peace Corps volunteers worked. Angie taught Yudelka's family how to change the dressings on the burns, and researched and mobilized pro-bono support from the only burn clinic in the country based in Santo Domingo. Yudelka received nutritional therapy, several operations, and the physical therapy necessary to return her to health. Six months after meeting Angie, Yudelka was walking with a cane and home with her family.
Lee C. Tran
Hometown: Springfield, VA
A year after Lee Tran was born in South Vietnam, his parents fled the country. After spending a year living in a refugee camp in Hong Kong, a family friend brought his family to the United States. Lee's decision to join Peace Corps was fueled by his desire to share the opportunities he and his family found in the United States. Lee is an elementary school science and English teacher in Nepal. Lee worked to set up laboratories for his science class with equipment found packed away in a storage room and worked with students to paint the Periodic Table on the lab wall. After clearing the storage room, Lee established the school's first library. The library is entirely student operated. Lee and five students cleared a storage room, collected and catalogued books, and work in the library everyday after school.
Last updated Jan 22 2013