Peace Corps Volunteer Speaks at Her Former High School

These past few months have been nuts as I try to juggle my work life, personal life, freelance life, Peace Corps life, and so many other additional things that make it full.
But while I’m learning to manage my time in the states (and I really am still learning), I have been adamantly fulfilling the third goal of the Peace Corps Mission by talking about my experience. I have taken the initiative to talk about “It Depends: A Guide to Peace Corps” and my Peace Corps China experience by getting involved with my High School in Florence, Colorado.
I reached out to the now principal of Florence High School and asked him if he was interested in having a guest speaker talk to the seniors about Peace Corps. The principal was very interested and invited me to come speak at the high school this past October.

Visiting My High School After 10 Years

I wanted to do this because I know Florence and I knew most of these kids would never leave and see anything outside of Colorado. I wanted to empower kids in this little town to travel and see new things, because the world really is so much bigger than Florence, Colorado – something I never fully understood until I had been all the way around the world. I wished we had more powerful speakers in high school that were real with us and encouraged us to do something greater after our HS and College experiences.
So, maybe these kids don’t know what they want to do, but I wanted to at least get them thinking about it, and at least cause for that awareness.
I spent a few weeks preparing for the Peace Corps talk, making a video (see below) and power points I hoped would keep the students engaged. I kept in mind the attention span my own high school kids had while I served in China and immediately panicked about whether or not they would even care about what I was saying. Regardless, I kept on creating a speech that would interest them until the time came to tell my story.