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Alumnae Prepare to Enter Peace Corps

April 29, 2018

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This May, recent graduates Andrea Moreno ’17 and Christina Nutting ’17 will join the Peace Corps as English teachers. The Peace Corps is a service organization for motivated volunteers to immerse themselves in a community abroad, working side by side with local leaders to tackle the most pressing challenges of our generation. With Moreno going to Cameroon in Central Africa and Nutting going to Kosovo in Eastern Europe, both were inspired by the current political climate to begin a journey to bridge language and culture.

Moreno, a music education major and Spanish minor, will teach English to middle and high school girls, starting with co-teaching and eventually moving into her her own classroom. Additionally, Moreno will also incorporate lessons about women’s empowerment, gender equality, sex education, music too as part of after school clubs.

“Education is the great equalizer and a foundation for change,” she said. “It’s very important for everyone to have an equal playing field, especially in Cameroon where women are still treated like second-class citizens and there are very defined gender roles. While it’s ok to have gender roles, it’s important for women to have options. Women shouldn’t be forced to get married and have a kid at a young age or not get an education.”

Since many of the young women Moreno will be teaching don’t necessarily know they can pursue and education to advance themselves, she wants to make sure they have the tools to succeed.

Andrea Moreno '17

“I also want to teach young boys about how young girls feel and how we can protect ourselves,” she said. “I want to empower both the young girls and boys and I don’t want to tell them their culture is wrong or try to force change on them. One of the things the Peace Corps reinforces is that we’re only in places that have asked for our help. If they stop asking for our help, we leave. I’m looking forward to expanding my own my knowledge and putting our experiences together so we can have the best outcomes.”

Christina Nutting ’17, an elementary education major, will serve as a primary school English teacher in Kosovo for two years. Nutting was inspired by her love of teaching, researching and experiencing different cultures, as well as her dedication leaving her comfort zone.

“There’s that quote, ‘Life begins at the end of your comfort zone,’ and I really took that into consideration for this decision,” she said. “Another major factor for me was the 2016 election and how blatant the lack of empathy in the world was; serving in the Peace Corps is such a great opportunity to bridge my culture with one vastly different than my own."

She encourages anyone interested in joining the Peace Corp to definitely take enough time to research, reach out, and do some self-inventory.

Christina Nutting '17 

“I can’t even begin to count how many hours I put into researching both the Peace Corps as an organization and all the different programs I was looking into,” she said. “I created spreadsheets with descriptions, requirements, locations, and departure dates for the different programs I was considering. I understand that’s a little extreme in term, but it really helped me weigh my options. I also reached out to a local Peace Corps recruiter who helped me so much with my application.”

For both Nutting and Moreno, the Peace Corps’ mission aligns perfectly with TLU’s commitment to service.

“To create a positive change within the community I’ll be serving, I’ll need to establish trust between myself and my community, which is something that TLU helped instill in me," she said. "At TLU, I was able to get involved in many different things and hold multiple leadership positions. Those opportunities helped give me the confidence to take on the role of being a Peace Corps volunteer, which heavily relies on initiative and passion. I’m most looking forward to being able to take that first-hand, cross-cultural experience with me wherever I end up.”

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