Gustavus Adolphus College seniors Erin Luhmann and Jonathan Peasley plan to join the Peace Corps about a month after they receive their bachelor’s degrees this Sunday.
Coincidentally, both Luhmann and Peasley were placed in the Kyrgyz Republic — a former Soviet republic located in Central Asia — where they will teach English to high school aged students.
Luhmann and Peasley are part of a growing trend that has seen more recent college graduates opt to volunteer for non-profit organizations as opposed to selecting a more traditional career path.
“I wanted a way to be able to volunteer and travel and I think it’s a good time to go after college before you start a career,” said Luhmann, an English major from Rockford, Minn. “I think it’s a good way to represent America to go and volunteer in another country.”
Joining the Peace Corps is a two-year commitment that includes 11 weeks of training. Luhmann and Peasley will depart for the Kyrgyz Republic on July 5. Upon arrival they will engage in four hours of language training per day along with workshops on the education profession.
“I traveled to Russia my sophomore year for a J-term trip and I have a long-term goal to teach, so I thought this would be a good opportunity for me,” said Peasley, an English and Classics double major from Richfield, Minn. “It’s a chance to help people in other countries and I think it helps people like me to come back to America and be a better person.”
The Peace Corps was established in 1961 by President John F. Kennedy to help promote world peace and friendship. To date, more than 190,000 volunteers have served in the Peace Corps in 139 different countries.
Media Contact: Director of Media Relations and Internal Communication JJ Akin