WASHINGTON, DC – Seeking to make an impact beyond her community, Danielle Parks, 22, is set to embark on a Peace Corps mission to Cameroon where she will work in cooperation with the local people and partner organizations on sustainable, community-based development projects that improve the lives of people in the African nation for 27 months.
“I think among the opportunities to travel the world, learn new languages, and immerse yourself in a new culture, the Peace Corps exemplifies the idea that we are all global citizens part of an irreducible body of interrelationship,” said Parks of her desire to join, and acceptance in, the organization established by President John F. Kennedy in 1961.
No stranger to volunteerism, Parks, whose parents Alvin Park and Patricia Seltzer still live in Paterson, graduated high school from Mary Help of Christians Academy in North Haledon before attending The College of New Jersey where she earned a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy in 2019.
In addition to her studies, Parks volunteers for College of New Jersey Campus Garden, Meals on Wheels, and numerous other community organizations.
Through her time in the Peace Corps, according to a statement, Parks will develop leadership, technical and cross-cultural skills that will give her a competitive edge when she returns home, well-positioned for professional opportunities in today’s global job market. While in Cameroon, Parks, like the more than 140 other volunteers currently serving there, will learn to speak local languages, including French, Fulfuldé and Pidgin English.
“The chance to serve in Cameroon is particularly special to me because I learned from the AncestryDNA test that a majority of my ancestry is located in this country,” Parks said. “The opportunity to live where my ancestors may have lived truly will be an eye-opening and transformative experience.”
“It reinforces the idea that we are global citizens with ties to all parts of the world irrespective of borders or walls.”
The Peace Corps currently has open positions with an October 1 application deadline in the fields of education, health, agriculture, community economic development, youth in development, and the environment. Applicants have the option of choosing to serve where the need for their skills is greatest, or applying directly to open programs in specific countries and regions, and, if accepted, receive a living stipend, extensive language and technical training, and financial benefits including eligibility for student loan forgiveness and graduate school fellowships after service.
To learn more about how to get involved with Peace Corps and the benefits of service, connect with a recruiter online or register to attend an event. For more information, visit www.peacecorps.gov and follow Peace Corps on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
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