Persuasive Panel

Thursday, March 14, 2013

On Thursday March 7th, 2013 students filed into the Student Center Theater at Eastern Connecticut State University to listen to the experiences of Post Graduates who joined the Peace Corp, Food Corp, AmeriCorps, and Teach for America. The purpose of this event was to educate students on different full-time service opportunities they can join upon graduating from Eastern in which they will not only bring their skills to meaningful work but will build their resumes. Everyone had their own stories and experiences to share with the audience but one story in particular stood out to me and the majority of the audience. Brianna London served with the Peace Corp abroad. She decided to join the Peace Corp after she graduated college because she wanted to take a break before thinking about going to graduate school but wasn’t ready to enter a full-time office job. After her orientation and training period, Brianna was sent to a remote village in Burkina Faso, Africa where she spent the next two years as the only American in the area. She primarily worked with groups of subsistence farmers and craftspeople to develop new business opportunities. She quickly became a role model for women in the village as she worked with them on confidence building techniques and helped them learn a new trade, soap making.  She worked with them to design a quicker more efficient way to prepare food which saved the villagers time and money. Brianna served in every aspect they needed her; some days she was a nurse, a chef, a financial advisor, or sometimes just a friend. Over the two years she was there Brianna learned the native language and made a huge impact in the economy of the village. As much as the villagers learned from her, she learned as much from them. She had to embrace a culture entirely different than her own and the people of the village tried to help her make that transition as smoothly as possible. Brianna now hopes to return to the village and is studying new ways to help them develop their economy. After the Panel, Brianna was surrounded by students who wanted to know more about her story. The bravery it took to move to another country with no knowledge of the area or language and have that big of an impact is something we can all admire and hope to achieve one day. I, like many of the audience, came to learn how to further our careers, but what we took away from it is that we can all do something as brave as Brianna and have amazing experience as well.


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