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Serving Youth in the Philippines through the Peace Corps
02.18.14 |

A native of Zimbabwe, Munyaradzi “Munya” Jakazi ’10 first came across LVC in his high school’s career library, in an issue of American Colleges and Universities magazine. Drawn to the College by its academic rigor and small-town setting, Jakazi was active in community service throughout his undergraduate career, working with Habitat for Humanity and the Lebanon Valley Education Partnership, among other groups, and joining the College’s spring 2008 service-learning trip to New Orleans to provide relief in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

“For most of my life I was involved in charitable activities, but LVC’s emphasis on community service definitely helped spur my desire to serve and make a positive difference in the world,” Jakazi said. The College was also responsible for opening the psychology major’s eyes to the value of international travel. “My study abroad experience in London whet my appetite for traveling and experiencing foreign cultures,” he said. Those two factors—a commitment to community service and an interest in foreign cultures—ultimately led Jakazi to the Peace Corps after graduation. Today, he’s serving as a youth development volunteer with the Peace Corps in the Philippines, where he coordinates extracurricular programs at a residential rehabilitation center for troubled youth.

“Overall, my Peace Corps experience has been very fruitful from both a professional and personal standpoint,” Jakazi said. “Working in a different country with a different culture and a different way of doing things has increased my self-confidence, my independence, and my cultural awareness. It’s also improved my adaptability as I learn to deal with unfamiliar situations, and my communications skills as I seek to work effectively with my co-workers while at the same time learning a new language.”

After the Peace Corps, Jakazi plans to pursue a master’s degree in international development and ultimately work in the nonprofit sector providing opportunities for social mobility to people and communities in need.

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