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WC Inducts Five Students into Inaugural Peace Corps Prep Program

Jim Reynolds: 'Program Is Congruent with College's Mission' Wilmington College inducted the first five students into its new Peace Corps Prep program Wednesday (April 29) at a ceremony at the Peace Resource Center. College officials and members of the extended campus community that are returned Peace Corp volunteers welcomed Megan Darst, Dillion Davidson, Dylan Sander, Kelsey Stone and Alisa Turner into WC’s inaugural program. (LEFT) The inaugural Peace Corps Prep program participants are, from the left, Megan Darst, Dillion Davidson, Dylan Sander, Kelsey Stone and Alisa Turner. The College entered into a partnership last year with the Peace Corps in which select students will engage in a unique combination of community service, experiential learning and academic coursework designed to prepare them for international service. WC is among 15 colleges and universities selected for the Peace Corps Prep program based upon the institutions’ demonstrated interest in promoting international learning and service opportunities to their students. WC President Jim Reynolds said the students are “part of history” at the College and join a host of faculty, staff, alumni and friends of WC that are “dedicated to serving others” through the Peace Corps. “The Peace Corps Prep program is congruent with the College’s mission,” he added. “I’m thrilled we’re getting this program started.” Students with sophomore class standing and higher can apply to WC’s new Peace Corps Prep program. Requirements for Peace Corps Prep at WC include a minimum of 100 hours of service as an undergraduate, coursework featuring Spanish and global awareness, experiential learning and a focus upon content knowledge in agriculture, education or health care. Also, other outside-the-classroom programming will be featured. Students completing the Prep program will be recognized at their WC Commencement ceremony, in addition to earning priority consideration for opportunities in the Peace Corps. Tammy Fraser, director of Career Services and a Peace Corp Prep Selection Committee member, said a stint in the Peace Corps not only can be a personally rewarding experience but also one that enhances one’s career preparation and opportunities. “Peace Corps provides its volunteers with high level work experience, as well as the opportunity to make a difference in the world,” she said, noting they often lead projects, make critical decisions and work under limited supervision in their fields. Additionally, the communication skills and cultural literacy they develop as a result of their international work experience provides them with unique qualifications when they return to the U.S. workforce, she added. “How many job candidates can say they have successfully lived in and learned to navigate a new culture for two years, collaborated effectively with diverse community partners in solving critical problems and conducted business in a language other than English?” she posed. “In our increasingly diverse global market, it can be a huge asset to have employees that bring not only a different cultural awareness, but also a fresh perspective from what they have learned in other parts of the world,” she said. “Plus, a candidate that has dedicated two years of their life to service also demonstrates an ability to commit to working toward a challenging mission.”