American TESOL Institute & World Wise Schools


World Wise Schools has matched up Peace Corps Volunteer Julia H. with American TESOL Institute for a two-year exchange of ideas, stories, pictures, and artifacts that help ATI students in the classroom learn about the people, geography, environment, and the culture of the world.

Hey ATI students! Mwa la la po? (how are you all in Oshiwambo, the local language). My name is Julie and I'm currently a Peace Corps volunteer serving in Namibia in Southern Africa and will be here for 2 years. I arrived in Namibia in August when I completed a two-month training program in a town called Okahandja. The training consisted of medical, safety, technical, cultural and language sessions from 8:30 to 5 everyday during the week and sometimes even on Saturdays! There were 45 Americans with us from all over the US since the beginning and we spent all that time together so you can imagine we all became pretty good friends. While in Okahandja, we all lived in different neighborhoods with host families so it was a really good introduction to Namibia and its people and culture.

After 8 weeks as Peace Corps trainees in Okahandja, we swore in as volunteers on October 16 and moved to our sites the next day! The volunteers in our group are spread out throughout the entire country and the majority of our group are English, Science, or Math teachers since we are all education volunteers (there are also health volunteers in Namibia). I am a bit of a special case because although technically I am lumped in with the education volunteers, I actually am not a teacher at a school. I am an ICT Volunteer (Information and Communications Technology) and am working at a community library at my site. Of our group, there are four ICT Volunteers and only two of us won't be at schools.

So now that you have the background, I can tell you a little bit about my site, which I have been at now for two weeks! I was placed in a small town called Omuthiya in Owamboland which consists of four regions in the Northern part of the country. Omuthiya was recently proclaimed a town and is definitely in the PROCESS of developing. I kind of feel like I have the best of both worlds here since I do have some of the amenities of a town but also live 4km off the main road (about an hour's walk) in a village. I definitely mean *some* amenities since there is no grocery store here and I have to travel 80km to my shopping town of Ondangwa to buy food! I am living on a traditional Owambo homestead with a host family who are really awesome. A homestead is a collection of huts and houses owned by one extended family and surrounded by a ton of land. My Meme and Tate (Mother & Father in Oshiwambo) are older and their kids are all grown and have moved away but there are several Namibian students (or learners, as they are called here) who live here and help out because of the homestead's proximity to local schools. Additionally, there are several farmers who also live and work here. I have my own little 4-room concrete house on the homestead and there is no electricity or running water. There is a water tap in a different section of the homestead so I am able to fetch water whenever I need it. A lot of other volunteers on homesteads have bucket showers and pit latrines but I am lucky enough to have a flush toilet and (cold!) shower which are both located in another little house on the homestead.

My job is still pretty new which means I'm still getting the hang of things and figuring things out but I'm really liking it so far. I am currently helping to open a new library in town which has included setting up a computer lab there, helping to move in furniture, facilitating setting up the internet, and organizing and shelving books. Organizing the books is what my days mostly consist of right now. It's very time consuming! I can't wait for the library to actually be open. I have lots of ideas for what I want to do there when community members start using it!

So that's a little snapshot of my life right now. It's all very new and exciting and I'm really liking it! Where are some of the places that you all will be teaching? What are some of your reasons for wanting to teach abroad?? I'd love to hear about you guys!! Feel free to e-mail with any questions - I'll do my best to answer you as quickly as I can. Talk to you soon!!


Peace Corps Announces Top Volunteer-Producing States and Metropolitan Areas in 2017

Peace Corps Announces Top Volunteer-Producing States and Metropolitan Areas in 2017

WASHINGTON? The Peace Corps today released its 2017 rankings of the top volunteer-producingstates and metropolitan areas across the country. New York-Northern NewJersey-Long Island is again the largest metropolitan-area producer ofvolunteers, after losing that designation to current No. 2Washington-Arlington-Alexandria in 2016.

Forthe second straight year, Missoula, Montana, holds the No. 1 spot for top metroareas per capita, followed by No. 2 Charlottesville, Virginia, which last madethe annual rankings in 2011. Ithaca, New York (No. 3), Fort Collins, Colorado(No. 5), and Ann Arbor, Michigan (No. 9), also returned to the per capitametros list in 2017.

TheDistrict of Columbia became the No. 1 state per capita while California retainedits No. 1 position on the total volunteer-producing states list. WashingtonState, Virginia, and Maryland appear in all four ranking categories.

?PeaceCorps volunteers come from all corners of our nation to create grassroots levelchange in our world,? said Peace Corps Chief Executive Officer Sheila Crowley.?Volunteers share their hometown values and perspectives with the hostcommunities they serve, an intercultural exchange that leaves a legacy of peaceand friendship. We are deeply grateful to the extraordinary communities in theU.S. which produce citizens with such a strong sense of purpose.?

ThePeace Corps is unique among service organizations because our volunteers liveand work at the community level. Service in the Peace Corps is a life-defining,hands-on leadership experience that offers volunteers the opportunity to travelto the farthest corners of the world and make a lasting difference in the livesof others. Applicants can apply to specific programs by visiting the Peace Corps website and connecting with arecruiter.

Belowfind the nation?s top 10 volunteer-producing states and metropolitan areas for2017. View the list of volunteer numbers from all 50 states here.

2017 TopStates ? Per Capita (# of volunteers per 100,000 residents)

1. Districtof Columbia ? 8.8

2. Vermont?6.7

3.Montana ? 4.9

4. Oregon? 4.3

4. RhodeIsland ? 4.3

6. Virginia? 4.2

7.Maryland ? 4.1

7. Washington? 4.1

9. Maine? 4.0

10. Colorado? 3.9

10. Minnesota? 3.9

2017 TopStates ? Total Volunteers

1.California ? 873

2. NewYork ? 485

3. Florida? 355

4. Virginia? 352

5. Texas? 327

6.Illinois ? 325

7. Washington? 300

8. Pennsylvania? 296

9. Michigan? 266

10. Maryland? 250

2017 TopMetropolitan Areas ? Per Capita (# of volunteers per 100,000 residents)

1.Missoula, MT ? 11.9

2. Charlottesville,VA ? 9.9

3. Ithaca,NY ? 9.8

3. Boulder,CO ? 9.8

5. FortCollins-Loveland, CO ? 9.7

6. Burlington-SouthBurlington, VT ? 9.5

7. Olympia,WA ? 7.9

8.Madison, WI ? 7.4

9. AnnArbor, MI ? 7.3

10. Washington-Arlington-Alexandria,DC-VA-MD-WV ? 7.2

2017 TopMetropolitan Areas ? Total Volunteers

1.New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island, NY-NJ-PA ? 418

2.Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV ? 403

3.Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana, CA ? 273

4.Chicago-Joliet-Naperville, IL-IN-WI ? 258

5.Boston-Cambridge-Quincy, MA-NH? 182

6.Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA ? 175

7.Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI ? 174

8.Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, PA-NJ-DE-MD ? 154

9.Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Marietta, GA ? 147

10.San Francisco-Oakland-Fremont, CA ? 126

*PeaceCorps data current as of September 30, 2017. The metropolitan area data used todetermine Peace Corps? rankings are derived from the most current U.S. CensusBureau ?Metropolitan and Micropolitan Statistical Area? data. Volunteersself-report their home city and state on their Peace Corps application.

Peace Corps to Phase Out of the Federated States of Micronesia and the Republic of Palau

WASHINGTON- Peace Corps announced it is officially phasing out of the Federated States ofMicronesia (FSM) and Republic of Palau aftermany years of partnership.The phase out is due to operational and infrastructure challenges in areasranging from vast geographic distances, medical care and transportation, andrecurring staff vacancies.

PeaceCorps will phase out its volunteer operations in FSM, where there are currently25 volunteers serving in the education sector, by June 30, 2018. This timelinewill allow the volunteers to complete their primary assignments through the endof the school year and transfer knowledge to their communities and counterparts.Peace Corps remains fully committed to supporting the volunteers during thistime as they complete their service.

Thelast class of volunteers departed Palau in July 2017, having completed theirassignments.

PeaceCorps is grateful to the people and governments of the Federated States ofMicronesia and the Republic of Palau for their partnership and friendship.Since 1966, more than 4,300 volunteers have served in the region of Micronesia,working to address the need for trained men and women in agriculture,education, health, youth development,andcommunity economicdevelopment.

Longafter the last volunteer?s departure, the most essential component of thesenations? cooperation withPeace Corps will remain in the fellowshipbetweenvolunteers and their host families, colleagues, and friends.Returned volunteers' ongoing contributions as informal citizen ambassadors forFSM and Palau will serve as a lasting legacy of mutual collaboration. Manyformer volunteers have remained in these countries, continuing to contribute ina personal capacity to the development of the region.

InthePacific,Peace Corpswill continue to operateprogramsin Fiji, Samoa, Tonga, and Vanuatu.

Peace Corps to Move to New Headquarters in Washington?s NoMa District in 2020

WASHINGTON -Today the Peace Corps announced that the federal agency, which sends Americanswith a passion for service abroad on behalf of the United States to work withcommunities and create lasting change, will move to a new headquarters buildingin Washington in 2020. TheGeneral Services Administration (GSA) announced the award of a new lease at1275 First Street N.E. (One Constitution Square) on behalf of the Peace Corps.

After twodecades of occupancy in a 20th Street building in the CentralBusiness District, the Peace Corps will gain efficiency by joining otherfederal agencies in the burgeoning NoMa district.

?The new,modern headquarters will enhance our agency?s efficiency and productivity,?Peace Corps Chief Executive Officer Sheila Crowley said. ?The NoMa building isPlatinum LEED certified and will include much-needed conferencing facilities,teaming rooms, and media centers to increase opportunities for communicationand collaboration across our overseas and domestic offices. The move to agreen, thoughtfully configured space will allow our dedicated staff to betterserve the public and fulfill the Peace Corps? mission of promoting world peaceand friendship.?

The lease for173,000 rentable square feet includes space on the second through seventhfloors which was formerly occupied by other federal agencies including GSA,which used it as swing space during a central office renovation.

Peace Corpswill take occupancy of the space in late 2019. Headquarters staff is expected tomove into the First Street building, which will be renamed ?The Paul D.Coverdell Peace Corps Headquarters,? in January of 2020.

Peace Corps Mourns the Loss of Volunteer Hanna Huntley
Hanna Huntley

Washington, D.C., November 1, 2017 ? Acting Peace Corps Director Sheila Crowley is saddened to confirm the death of Peace Corps volunteer Hanna Huntley of Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. Hanna, 23, died from an automobile accident in Armenia on October 31, 2017.

?Hanna had a gift for languages and a passion for helping women and children. As a college student, she tutored children in Washington, D.C., and later cared for orphans in Romania,? Acting Director Crowley said. ?I was privileged to meet Hanna during her swearing-in ceremony in Armenia in June. We are devastated that her promising life was cut short. Our hearts go out to Hanna?s family and friends during this profoundly difficult time.?

Hanna served as a Community Youth Development volunteer in Armenia. She worked at the Sevan Youth Club, a non-governmental agency in Sevan, Armenia, and made notable contributions, participating in the opening of the community?s first artistic teahouse and helping to organize a summer music festival. She also started an English club and was developing initiatives aimed at encouraging young community members to fully develop their potential.

Before beginning her Peace Corps service, Hanna wrote that serving in Armenia would be ?? a dream come true.? Having taught English as a second language since she was 18, she looked forward to learning Armenian and using her cross-cultural skills to improve the lives of women and children.

Hanna received her undergraduate degree in international relations in 2016 from American University. While there, she tutored elementary school students at DC Reads and was active in Chi Alpha Campus Ministries and the AU Independent Arts Collective. Fluent in Hungarian, Spanish, and Russian, she taught English in Hungary and Slovakia; she also lived in Romania for several months, caring for young orphans and teaching them English.

She is survived by her parents, Krista and COL Peter D. Huntley, her brothers, Max and LT Peter Oscar Huntley, and friend Franny Valour.

Peace Corps Volunteer Celebrates Halloween with Mongolian Students
Zombie make-up is a popular Halloween costume in Mongolia.

Peace Corps volunteers around the world share American culture and traditions?like the customs of Halloween?with their host communities, exemplifying Peace Corps? goal of promoting a better understanding of Americans on the part of people served. Below is an example of how one volunteer shared American Halloween traditions with her community.


Peace Corps volunteer Anna Buchanan of Naperville, Illinois recentlytraveled to a Halloween-themed charity race with her students in Mongolia. Theevent, which featured 1-kilometer, 3K, and 5K races, benefited a local disability-awarenessorganization.

?Halloween in Mongolia is not as widely celebrated,? said Buchanan,a graduate of Loyola University Chicago who has been living in Mongolia since2016. ?There are some parties and most Mongolians instantly think of zombies. Itold a 12th grade class I was once a penguin for Halloween and they didn?tunderstand why I would dress up as a penguin, ?That?s not scary!??

The festivities also included face painting, dance music,and medal or certificate awards for the race winners.

?I must also add that a Mongolian event would not becomplete if there was not a random 5-minute dance party,? Buchanan explained. ?Asignificant amount of money was raised and all the kids, winners andnon-winners, went home happy.?

Peace Corps Office of Inspector General Receives Three Awards for Excellence

The Peace Corps Office of Inspector General (OIG) receivedthe Glenn/Roth Award for Exemplary Service and two awards for excellence at theCouncil of the Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency?s (CIGIE) 20thAnnual Awards Ceremony held on October 19, 2017.

CIGIE annually awards the Glenn/Roth Award forExemplary Service to a CIGIE member organization that demonstrates exemplaryvalue to the Congress. Peace Corps OIG, along with staff from the Department ofState, Department of Justice, and Small Business Administration, were recognizedfor significant contributions to support Congress in its effort to strengthenoversight leading to passage of the Inspector General Empowerment Act. This Actrestored the right of unfettered OIG access to agency information, allowingOIGs to perform critical oversight of the Federal government. The Act will havea lasting benefit for the inspector general community and the American peoplewho rely on inspectors general to provide independent oversight.

CIGIE presented the Award for Excellence in Evaluationsto a Peace Corps OIG team for its ?PeaceCorps Rwanda Country Program Evaluation.? This evaluation examined the managementcontrols; programming; and Peace Corps volunteer support, training, and siteplacement to make recommendations designed to help PeaceCorps/Rwanda effectively support the Peace Corps mission. This evaluation maderecommendations designed to help Peace Corps/Rwanda lay a solid foundation forvolunteers to integrate successfully into their Rwandan host communities andculture, and thus help volunteers to have generally safer, healthier, and more productiveservice. Assistant Inspector General for Evaluations Jerry Black and former evaluatorGreg Yeich received the award.

AnotherOIG team received an Award for Excellence in Multiple Disciplines for its ?Evaluationof The Peace Corps? Sexual Assault Risk Reduction and Response Program.?The evaluation brought together a cross-discipline team to assess the progressthe Peace Corps has made toward providing compassionate and comprehensive carein response to sexual assault as well as its progress toward developing aneffective risk reduction program. Assistant Inspector General for EvaluationsJeremy Black, Senior Evaluator Kris Hoffer, Evaluator Kaitlyn Large, ProgramAnalyst A?Daris McNeese, Senior Evaluator Paul Romeo, former Senior Evaluator BruceShahbaz, Lead Auditor Rebecca Underhill, Administrative Specialist KelseyGriffiths, Outreach Specialist Kate Pote, and Program Analyst Alexandra Miller receivedthe award.

Inspector General Kathy A. Buller stated, ?Thebreadth of work that was honored today exemplifies the passion, skill, anddepth of knowledge housed in our small office. I am so proud of these teams andtheir efforts to help the Peace Corps achieve its mission and to strengthenoversight for Offices of Inspector General across the government.?

The Inspector General Act of 1978, as amended,established OIGs within federal agencies to combat fraud, waste, abuse, and toimprove economy and efficiency. The inspector general community has more than14,000 audit, investigation, inspection, and other professionals across 72 IGs.

CIGIE is an independent entity within the executivebranch representing 72 OIGs in the federal government. CIGIE?s mission is topromote integrity, economy, and effectiveness in government agencies as well asto increase the professionalism and effectiveness of personnel in the communityof inspectors general. For more information on the IG community, visit

Peace Corps Acting Director Sheila Crowley, U.S. Congressman Charlie Dent Champion Service at Moravian College
Peace Corps Acting Director Sheila Crowley, Returned Peace Corps Response Volunteer Nate Ferraro, and U.S. Congressman Charlie Dent (PA-15) spoke on Friday (9/29) at Moravian College in Bethlehem. Crowley and Dent visited Moravian to discuss the value of making a difference through the Peace Corps and recognize the Keystone State?s impetus for service. From left: Sheila Crowley, Nate Ferraro, and Congressman Dent.

Washington, D.C., September 29, 2017 ? Peace Corps Acting Director SheilaCrowley and U.S. Congressman Charlie Dent (PA-15) met with students,faculty and residents today at Moravian College in Bethlehem,Pennsylvania, to discuss the value of making a difference through the PeaceCorps and recognize the Keystone State?s impetus for service. This year,Pennsylvania ranked as theNo. 7 Peace Corps Volunteer-producing state in the nation, with 300residents currently serving overseas.

?PeaceCorps service is an unparalleled leadership and service opportunity thatenables college and university alumni to use the creative-thinking skills theydeveloped in school to make an impact in communities around the world,? ActingDirector Sheila Crowley said. ?It?s clear that Moravian College alumni have adesire to make the world a better place, their passion for service is ingrainedin the Greyhound spirit.?

?Itwas an honor to be part of today?s event and I greatly appreciate MoravianCollege for hosting the program. As a citizen of Pennsylvania, I?m extremelyproud that our state again ranks in the top 10 of Peace Corpsvolunteer-producing states. The Peace Corps remains the preeminentAmerican program for individuals interested in offering their time, effort andabilities to literally make the world better,? Dent said.

Moravian College alumni Krystal Dering, who is serving asa Peace Corps volunteer and Nate Ferraro, who served as aPeace Corps Response volunteer, also attended the event to field questionsabout their experiences living and working overseas.

Sincethe founding of the Peace Corps in 1961, 56 alumni from Moravian College havetraveled abroad to serve as Peace Corps volunteers. In 2015, Moravian Collegepartnered with the Peace Corps to launch its Peace Corps PrepProgram,which offers students a unique combination of undergraduate coursework andleadership training that are critical to the intercultural fieldwork ofsuccessful Peace Corps volunteers.

Collegegraduates who serve with the Peace Corps return home with cross-cultural,leadership, community development and language skills that help to strengtheninternational ties and increase our country?s global competitiveness.

Peace Corps Burkina Faso Volunteers Evacuated Safely

WASHINGTON, D.C., September 03, 2017 ?The Peace Corps today announced that, acting with an abundance of caution and considering the unique circumstances of their service, all Peace Corps Burkina Faso volunteers have been successfully evacuated out of the country due to security concerns. The Peace Corps has been closely monitoring the safety and security environment in Burkina Faso and will continue to assess the situation. The Peace Corps looks forward to a time when volunteers can return while underscoring that the safety and security of its volunteers are the agency?s top priority.

There were 124 volunteers working in Burkina Faso on projects in community economic development, education and health. The Peace Corps has enjoyed a long partnership with the government and people of Burkina Faso and hopes to be able to continue volunteers? work there. More than 2,075 Peace Corps volunteers have served in Burkina Faso since the program was established in 1966.

Ashley Bell Named Peace Corps Associate Director for External Affairs
Ashley Bell

Washington,D.C., July 7, 2017 ? Today, Peace Corps announced Ashley Bell as the newAssociate Director for External Affairs. As head of ExternalAffairs, Bell will oversee Peace Corps? Offices of Communications, CongressionalRelations, Gifts and Grants Management and Strategic Partnerships and IntergovernmentalAffairs.

?Peace Corpsvolunteers represent the best the United States has to offer and I am gratefulfor the opportunity to support an agency founded in the American ideal ofserving others,? Bell said. ?As head of External Affairs, my hope is tohighlight to the public the vital role Peace Corps plays in irrevocably changingthe lives of both volunteers and the communities they help.?

Bell joinsPeace Corps with a wealth of experience in external affairs and internationalrelations. Prior to Peace Corps, Bell served as a special advisor in the PublicAffairs Bureau of the Department of State, where he developed strategy aroundthe Secretary of State?s domestic engagement agenda. During the presidential transition,Bell served as the communications and intergovernmental affairs lead on thelanding team at the Department of State.

Beforejoining the Trump Administration, Bell was a senior strategist forcommunications at the Republican National Committee (RNC). As national directorof African American political engagement for the RNC, he managed and providedstrategic direction to over 200 RNC field employees and thousands ofvolunteers. He is the founder, chief executive officer and chairman of 20/20Leaders of America. A lawyer by trade, Ashley began his career as a publicdefender, and later became a trial attorney and co-founder of the law firm Bell& Washington LLP, based in Atlanta, Georgia. He is a graduate of ValdostaState University and obtained his law degree from Louisiana State University.

First Group of Two-Year Peace Corps Volunteers to Begin Service in Myanmar

WASHINGTON,D.C., May 26, 2017? Today, Acting Peace Corps Director Sheila Crowley joined U.S.Charge d?affaires Kristen Bauer and the Rector of East Yangon University, Dr.Kyaw Kyaw Khaung, in Yangon, Myanmar to swear in Myanmar?s first-ever two-yearPeace Corps volunteers. After ten weeks of pre-service training, the 15 newvolunteers were sworn in at a ceremony at the Karaweik Palace before leavingfor their communities where they will teach English at local middle and highschools. Myanmar is the 141st country to invite Peace Corpsvolunteers to work and live in local communities.

?This day marks a new chapternot just in our volunteers? lives and careers ? but also for the Peace Corps,and for the partnership between the United States and the Republic of the Unionof Myanmar,? Acting Director Crowley said. ?I thank our Myanmar partners fortheir kindness, love, and warm welcome. We are honored to serve yourcommunities, and we look forward to working with you, side by side, shoulder toshoulder, towards a brighter future for all our children.?

At the request of theGovernment of Myanmar, Peace Corps is providing qualified American men andwomen to assist Myanmar in meeting education goals while also promoting abetter understanding between the people of the United States and Myanmar. ThePeace Corps? Myanmar program began in 2016 with a group of short-term PeaceCorps Volunteers who served in Yangon Region. Volunteers worked side by sidewith Myanmar teachers of English in basic education middle and high schools.

PeaceCorps volunteers around the world work with communities to strengthen localcapacity, facilitate cultural exchanges and build relationships that last alifetime. The Peace Corps works closely with local governments to support theirgoals and priorities such as upgrading education standards, improving thecapacities of teachers, and providing quality English language instruction tostudents.