Becoming a U.S. citizen and then a Peace Corps Volunteer

I became interested in the Peace Corps while studying abroad in Kenya and Rwanda in 2014 as a student at Western Washington University.

While in East Africa, we worked on a tree nursery project with a community organization. We developed relationships first, just as we do in Peace Corps, and our work grew organically during our time there. While in Rwanda I also met a WWU alum serving as a Peace Corps Volunteer. Her work in the local health center and her stories of daily life inspired me. I specifically remember her story about helping her community raise rabbits to help bridge the nutritional gap. Like any good Peace Corps story, it came with a twist: she was allergic to rabbits.

After learning about everyday life and the adventure of Peace Corps, I knew I wanted to serve. But there was a problem: although I had lived in the U.S. since the age of two, I was a Canadian citizen and therefore didn’t qualify. Through my research I also learned that Canada didn’t have opportunities for the grassroots level of international work offered by Peace Corps.