Hans N. Lechner.
Having previously served as Peace Corps volunteer in Jamaica 1999-2001 some of my reasons for wanting to serve have changed while others remain the same. I still desire lessons in geography and culture that transcend the class room or the “National Geographic Channel.” I still desire the opportunities to walk, talk and live with people who understand life differently. I want to see and experience parts of the world that most Americans will never know. These are reasons that have not and will never change.
However, now there are more and newer reasons for service as a volunteer. I want to take my former experience and understanding of Peace Corps service and reapply it in a new situation. I hope to act as a beacon of support for other volunteers. I believe that my knowledge of resources and how to access them will prove invaluable a second time around. By reapplying what I have already learned I will be more effective as one who can empower those with whom I work and live. I now feel that I can make a far greater impact as a volunteer and educator.
As a student in the Masters International Program at Michigan Technological University there are academic reasons as well. I wish to take the education I will gain through this academic year and apply it to appropriate research. I want to develop a scientific and academic understanding of the various geologic hazards that exist within my country of service. I plan to develop a strong understanding of the people and community life but also how they are affected by geologic hazards.
By pursuing a master’s degree while serving as a PCV I want to become an expert in my chosen field and a specific region. This will move me closer to my goal of eventually achieving a PhD. More than that though, I want to have a knowledge that can be shared and used to assist and empower those in my country of service and other countries with similar conditions.
Returning to the Peace Corps as a master’s student I want to develop a rapport with the people, the hazards and the region that will last throughout my lifetime and allow me to forever visit and work within and for my country of service. I want to serve as a Peace Corps volunteer to advance my education and improve the knowledge base of my chosen field.