Fellows in the Community
M.S. Health Sciences and Health Management
Western Illinois University, 2002
The Peace Corps Fellows/USA program contributed to my becoming a better individual. I gained knowledge and developed skills I never had before.
My Peace Corps service was in Guyana from 1996 to 1998. I worked in schools, clinics, and hospitals to promote health education. I collaborated with nongovernmental organizations to enable communities to develop better ways to effectively manage waste material to achieve proper communitywide hygiene.
I also took advantage of the World Wise Schools program to coordinate a student exchange program that linked pupils in Guyana with their counterparts in the United States, helping them to share vital information about each others’ countries and cultures.
As a Volunteer whose original place of birth is Africa, I was able to identify with the people of Guyana in their struggles. In Africa, I had studied under a tree not because it was fun, but because that was the only option there was for shelter from rain or sun. I was able to identify with situations of this nature, or when students came to school hungry.
After Peace Corps, I embarked on a journey to acquire more knowledge at Western Illinois University–Macomb (WIU). At WIU, Peace Corps Fellows undergo a skills course at the beginning of their studies. The skills course created an environment for teamwork and Fellows were supported throughout their entire time in the program.
The Fellows/USA program was managed by the university’s Illinois Institute for Rural Affairs under the directorship of Professor John Gruidl. My internship as a graduate assistant focused on developing strategies for assisting rural Illinois communities to attain some level of health equilibrium in areas where they experienced health disparities. As part of my internship, I helped launch a walking-for-wellness program called Empowerment Steps. I designed an easy-to-use walking journal and identified routes and maps for safe one-mile walks in 12 different municipalities.
Last updated Jan 30 2014