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Swen to join Peace Corps after graduation
Many college students dream about taking time off after graduation to travel the world and experience new things before settling into a career.
Carolyn Swen is actually doing it.
Swen, of Fort Worth, will graduate from Texas Woman’s University on Friday, May 13 with bachelor’s degrees in English literature and psychology. Next month, she’ll travel to Ethiopia as a Peace Corps volunteer.
“I thought about applying a couple of years ago, but put it off because their acceptance rate is so low,” she said. “When I got the (Peace Corps) email, I didn’t want to open it. My roommate read it to me.”
The email contained an invitation to join the Peace Corps, an international volunteer organization that sends American abroad to tackle the most pressing needs of people around the world. Swen will participate in the Promoting English Language Learning in Ethiopia (PELLE) project, an effort by the Peace Corps and the Ethiopian government to provide the country’s high school students and teachers with more opportunities and a better future by improving English education. Swen also is learning the local language to better integrate into the community.
“I’m anxious but excited (about going),” she said. “It’s tangible now; it’s not a dream.”
The Peace Corps experience could benefit Swen in pursuing her ultimate career goal – working for an organization like the United Nations.
“I want to work in a humanitarian field – dealing with refugees, public relations or international relations – with an emphasis on education,” she said. “Many people outside the United States are denied an education because of their race or religion, and I would like to help change that.”
Following her two years of Peace Corps service, Swen plans to return to the United States and attend graduate school, majoring in international education, international relations or international affairs.
The Peace Corps, founded in 1961, has sent more than 220,000 volunteers to 140 countries to assist in the areas of education, health community economic development and more.
Page last updated 3:24 PM, April 30, 2020