Titans join Peace Corps after graduation

Lark Commanday

KATIE FATA, NEWS EDITOR

Two Illinois Wesleyan seniors, Tera Wilson and Tatum Zsorey, plan to join the Peace Corps after graduation.

Zsorey and Wilson have both been considering the Peace Corps for quite awhile.

The Peace Corps is a volunteer program run by the United States government and acts as a service opportunity for individuals to work in communities abroad.

Wilson, an environmental studies and economics double major, has been interested in joining the Peace Corps since elementary school.

“Going to another country and volunteering seemed like the ultimate job,” Wilson said.

Summer of 2019 was when she figured out it was a real possibility to do such a thing, according to Wilson.

Wilson will be working as a “Community Conservation Promoter” in Guyana, South America.

Wilson will be teaching elementary kids science, leading wildlife clubs and figuring out how to support local conservation efforts, most likely in small, indigenous communities.

Zsorey’s position is in the Community and Economic Development sector of the Peace Corps in the European country of Kosovo. Her position will focus on local government and civic society organizations to promote citizen participation, specifically among youth and women. Volunteers work alongside locals to strengthen the organizational capacity of local institutions, while also encouraging volunteerism in community-based projects.

Illinois Wesleyan has been a part of preparing both students. Zsorey is president of IWU’s Model UN and has been involved with Amnesty International and the Scholars at Risk Advocacy Seminar.

Wilson is currently a lead resident community advisor for the Office of Residential Life, president of the IWU Peace Garden, an executive member of the Economics Society and a student senator.

“The biggest credits have to go to my Vietnam May Term class and my Freeman Asia internship with EarthRights International in Thailand because living abroad for a few months in Asia really grew my capabilities and skills,” said Wilson.

Wilson’s decision to join was not, however, without hesitancy.

“I’m going to miss a lot being gone for two years. I don’t take that lightly,” said Wilson.

Wilson and Zsorey will leave for their respective positions following graduation.

“I still don’t think it’s entirely sunk in yet that I’m graduating college and leaving for another continent all in the same month but I think it’ll be great,” Wilson said.

IWU began a partnership with the Peace Corps in 2016 and started the IWU Peace Corps Prep Program.

Both students participated in IWU’s Peace Corps Prep Program, in which students can get involved at the Action Research Center.

The program focuses on work sector training, foreign language, intercultural competence and professional and leadership development.

Students who complete the program will be prepared with the training to be a community leader wherever they are placed.