Giving Back

Cranford Resident to Return from Two Years Abroad with Peace Corps.

Patti Mansbach on the main road in her neighborhood in Senegal. Credits: Patti Mansbach

CRANFORD, NJ- Patti Mansbach, a Cranford resident and 2010 graduate of Cranford High School, will return home on April 29 after two years of volunteer work with the Peace Corps.

Mansbach graduated from Simmons college in 2014 with a degree in finance. Since March 2015, she has lived in Senegal, a country on Africa’s west coast, after joining the Peace Corps to experience living and working abroad.

“My favorite part [of being in the Peace Corps] was when my dad came to visit me and I got to introduce him to my host family,” Mansbach said. “I also really like all of the friends I’ve made here- both with Senegalese locals and other Peace Corps volunteers.”

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Mansbach stayed in Yoff, a neighborhood in the Dakar region of Senegal, where she taught local business owners how to keep accounting records and taught financial literacy classes for participants to create savings goals, savings plans and personal budgets. However, it wasn’t always easy to be away from home, she said.

“Besides hot season, it was hard to be away from family and friends because I missed out on a lot of weddings, holidays, births and other special events,” Mansbach said.

Mansbach is most looking forward to doing laundry with a washing machine once she gets back home, she said. She encourages anyone who’s interested in volunteering with the organization to talk to a Peace Corps recruiter, even if they don’t think they have relevant experience.

“I am really glad I joined the Peace Corps,” Mansbach said. “I’ve had an amazing experience serving here in Senegal. It’s a great country and I will definitely miss it.”

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