With a desire to serve and a history of mission trips, Katie Kirouac joined the Peace Corps after graduating in 2010. Her service led her to become the first Laker to be featured on the Peace Corps blog that connects current, future and past corps volunteers from the Midwest.
“I was connected to the people who run the blog through some staff from the Honors College,” said Kirouac, who was a political science major and Spanish minor. “They had a meeting with a Peace Corps Midwest recruiter and my name came up as a recently returned volunteer.” From May 2010 to August 2012, Kirouac served in Ghana. Her two main projects were providing HIV information to more than 10,000 people and testing to more than 4,000.
The blog recruits new Peace Corps volunteers through testimonials of current and past volunteers. Blog administrators wanted to increase the presence of Grand Valley in the blog and in the Peace Corps.
“With the blog, future volunteers can read success stories, ask questions to volunteers on the ground and connect with others from their school, hometown, or area of interest,” said Kirouac. “It’s a really fantastic and accessible resource for prospective volunteers and their families.”
While at Grand Valley, Kirouac spent several spring breaks on mission trips and has family members who were missionaries. She wanted to give back after graduation and the Peace Corps seemed like the perfect fit for her. She said her service in Ghana allowed her to dig deeper and discover things about herself.
“It allowed me to do meaningful work while exposing me to these amazing experiences and life abroad,” said Kirouac. “I’d love to see more graduates from Grand Valley join the Peace Corps.”
Kirouac is returning to Grand Valley in the fall of 2013 to earn a master’s degree in public administration while working to create a nonprofit organization that provides free and reduced tutoring to underserved and at-risk students. After graduation, she plans on working in South America.
To read the Peace Corps blog post about her experiences, click here.