As a top-ranked school for producing Peace Corps volunteers, Arizona State University and the Peace Corps are expanding opportunities for returning volunteers who want to continue their education at the graduate level.
The Coverdell Fellows Program (formerly known as Fellows/USA) provides financial support for obtaining a master’s degree at ASU. More than 15 master’s programs at ASU offer a Coverdell, in fields as diverse as business, political science, education, language communications, psychology, and social justice and human rights.
This is the first time the fellowship has been offered at ASU. Applications for the summer and fall 2016 semester will be accepted beginning Dec. 1, with a suggested submission by Feb.1, and final deadline of March 1, 2016.
All fellows must participate in a 320 hours-per-year community service project, providing outreach assistance to underserved American communities.
Kenneth Alexander, who served as a small business development volunteer in Peru, helped tutor K-12 students as part of his Coverdell community service at Duke University. He helped low-income students achieve in school, prepare for college and break the cycle of poverty in their families.
“My community service allowed me to expand beyond my comfort zone, and open my network to a group of people with very different backgrounds,” Alexander said. “This really allowed an interesting perspective in terms of issues you find at home versus the developing world. Although socio-economic standards may be different, a lot of the issues and difficulties are still the same.”
Alexander earned a master’s in economic development policy, and is currently at Pricewaterhouse Coopers LLP, working in capital projects and infrastructure development. The fellowship encouraged him to seek further ways to aid community development. He served on the Community Development Advisory Committee in Montgomery County in Maryland, and now is on the San Miguel School Board of Trustees for low-income youth in Washington D.C.
“In my day-to-day role I meet new people and encounter new challenges, something I am able to easily navigate driven by my Peace Corps experience, grad school and the Coverdell Fellowship,” Alexander said.
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