The Honors Program members participated in a virtual conference with Anne Tartarsky, Peace Corps regional recruiter for western New York, on Tuesday, April 12.
Tartarsky, who served in the Peace Corps in the Dominican Republic, described some of the assignments the more than 7,000 current Peace Corps volunteers are engaged in around the world. While she served in the Dominican Republic, Tartarsky taught local people to build and maintain kitchen ovens and stoves. She said, “The amazing sense of community and caring I experienced there will always stay with me.”
Jonathan Hilsher, Alfred State’s director of the Center for Civic Engagement, facilitated the conference and also told of his time as a Peace Corps volunteer in Honduras. Hilsher, then with a newly-minted bachelor’s degree in political science, discovered that his experience of growing up on a farm proved to be of more value to the people he worked with than his college degree.
Hilsher said his time volunteering in Honduras “helped me discover the ‘public’ side of my personality” and, in fact, propelled him on an entirely new career path. The Peace Corps, founded by President John Kennedy in 1961, has the mission of providing technical assistance, helping people outside the United States to understand American culture, and helping Americans to understand the cultures of other countries.
Pictured, from left, are Kyle Brown, nursing, Randolph; Jonathan Hilsher, director of the Center for Civic Engagement; Ian Potash, digital media and animation, Syracuse; and Courtney Green, human services, Lisbon.