Peace Corps Mourns the Loss of Volunteer Nicholas Castle

WASHINGTON D.C. February 8, 2013—Peace Corps Acting Director Carrie Hessler-Radelet is saddened to confirm the death of Peace Corps volunteer Nicholas Castle in the People’s Republic of China. Nicholas, 23, died after a short illness on Thursday, February 7 in a hospital in Chengdu, China. He was with his parents and Peace Corps medical staff at the time of his death.

“Nicholas was an exemplary Peace Corps volunteer who demonstrated respect, patience and an eagerness to teach and learn from the members of his new Peace Corps community,” said Acting Director Hessler-Radelet. “The entire Peace Corps community is deeply saddened by this tragic loss. Our thoughts are with Nicholas’ family and the volunteers and staff in China.”

Peace Corps Volunteer Nicholas Castle.

Nicholas, of Brentwood, Calif., arrived in China on June 29, 2012 for pre-service training and was sworn in as a Peace Corps volunteer on Aug. 27, 2012. Since that time, he had been teaching university-level English in Guizhou Province. He was scheduled to complete his service in July 2014.

Nicholas was a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley where he received his bachelor’s degree in political science and comparative politics in 2012. During his time at Berkeley Nicholas worked as a resident assistant and participated in student government as the Projects and Programs Director. He also spent a semester encouraging students to apply to Peace Corps working with the local campus recruiter.

Prior to his Peace Corps service, Nicholas spent more than six years working as a volunteer tutor to middle school students in subjects including math, science and reading. He also spent time tutoring high school and college students in advanced math. Aside from his commitment to volunteer work, Nicholas loved music, books and film. His favorite band was The Beatles and his favorite authors included Kurt Vonnegut, Tim O’Brien, Douglas Adams, J.D. Salinger, and Ernest Hemingway. His love of movies and film inspired him to complete the American Film Institute’s Top 100 films list.

Peace Corps Volunteer Nicholas Castle in China.

In his Peace Corps application Nicholas stated that serving in Peace Corps was a lifelong dream because it was a chance to experience and learn about another culture. Nicholas had hoped to continue his work in international relations after Peace Corps service by working for the U.S. Government or attending graduate school.

Nicholas is survived by his parents and three brothers in California.

About the Peace Corps: Since President John F. Kennedy established the Peace Corps by executive order on March 1, 1961, more than 210,000 Americans have served in 139 host countries. Today, 8,073 volunteers are working with local communities in 76 host countries in agriculture, community economic development, education, environment, health and youth in development. 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 for more information.

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