Colleen Coyle of Driggs, has been accepted into the Peace Corps in Guatemala and will depart on September 16, to begin training as a youth development volunteer.
“I was eager to learn from other communities and I wanted to take a break from academia before pursuing graduate opportunities. Peace Corps offered me the best chance to be in the region I was interested in for the longest amount of time with the most ability to serve others,” said Coyle in a news release.
Coyle is the daughter of Michael Coyle of Driggs and a graduate of Sky View High School in Logan, Utah. She attended Centre College in Danville, Kentucky, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in history with minors in Spanish and Latin American studies. Prior to joining the Peace Corps, she interned with a sea turtle conservation organization in San Blas, El Salvador, and the Immigrant Services department of the Louisville Free Public Library.
The Peace Corps seeks additional applicants to fill hundreds of requests for volunteers in programs worldwide beginning in spring 2020. Peace Corps volunteers live and work for 27-month terms of service in more than 60 nations, and receive a living stipend, extensive language and technical training, and financial benefits including eligibility for student loan forgiveness and graduate school fellowships after service. Open positions with an October 1 application deadline are available in the fields of education, health, agriculture, community economic development, youth in development, and the environment.
Idaho has 58 residents currently serving as Peace Corps volunteers, and more than 1,481 Idaho residents have served since the Peace Corps was founded in 1961.
Peace Corps applicants have the option of choosing to serve where the need for their skills is greatest, or applying directly to open programs in specific countries and regions. Accepted applicants live with host families and receive three months of training before being assigned to a community in their country of service.
“My time in El Salvador and during a study abroad in Belize helped me learn how much I loved Central America. I am deeply interested in Guatemalan history and its modern challenges, and I felt my abilities and education would be most useful there,” Coyle said.
Coyle will work in cooperation with the local people and partner organizations on sustainable, community-based development projects that improve the lives of people in Guatemala and help Coyle develop leadership, technical and cross-cultural skills that will give her a competitive edge when she returns home. Peace Corps volunteers return from service as global citizens well-positioned for professional opportunities in today’s global job market.
“I hope to learn from the people I work with on a daily basis, to be better able to communicate, both in Spanish and indigenous languages, and to have a better understanding of how I can contribute to community development,” Coyle said. “I am so excited to live somewhere I have never been and to have the opportunity to expand my perspectives.”
To learn more about how to get involved with Peace Corps and the benefits of service, connect with a recruiter online or register to attend an event. For more information, visit www.peacecorps.gov and follow Peace Corps on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.