Akron Resident is Eighth in Family to Join Peace Corps; Born in Africa, family inspired him to help others
October 6, 1998Washington, D.C., October 6, 1998—Aaron Nighswander, of Akron, is the eighth in his family to serve as a Peace Corps volunteer. He will depart tomorrow for Zimbabwe, where he'll teach English and set up libraries in rural schools. Nighswander was born in Monrovia, Liberia, where his parents, Timothy and Vickie Nighswander, were Peace Corps volunteers in the early 1970s. Thomas and Ruth Nighswander, his uncle and aunt, were Peace Corps volunteers in Malawi from 1964-66. They presently live in Anchorage, Alaska. Another aunt and uncle, Susanne and Alan Boyd of Athens, Ohio, were Peace Corps volunteers in Ethiopia from 1964-66. Finally, Nighswander's cousin, Christina Boyd, also from Athens, served in Nepal from 1991-1993.
"I heard stories about the Peace Corps throughout my childhood," Nighswander says. "I was raised in a household that values helping others. Joining the Peace Corps was the next natural step for me." Nighswander received his bachelor of science degree in linguistics from Ohio University in 1995. He has worked as an instructor in the Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio University since 1996. His other work experience includes preserving library books, working with violent adults, developing multi-media materials, and serving as technical adviser for a student newspaper. Currently, 61 Peace Corps volunteers are serving in Zimbabwe, working primarily in education and business development. More than 6,500 Peace Corps volunteers are currently working in 80 countries around the world to bring clean water to communities, teach children, protect the environment, help start new small businesses, and prevent the spread of AIDS. Since 1961, more than 150,000 Americans have joined the Peace Corps.