Samantha (aka Sam) comes from a small town in rural Arkansas, the state where she spent the first 24.5 years of her life. She has always been passionate about photography and the idea of telling people's stories. This led her to pursue a Studio Arts degree at Hendrix University in undergrad. She specialized in photography and pottery but fell in love with gardening. Post-graduation, Sam spent six months volunteering at Heifer Ranch, a teaching farm for Heifer International located in Perryville, AR. She then joined Americorps VISTA to work on school gardening and nutrition programs, which she enjoyed for almost three years.
Ty Miranda is excited to join the RPCV/W board as Social Director. Ty served as a Youth Development Peace Corps Volunteer in Thailand, from 2015-2017.
Ms. Lesley DeRosa grew up in Boston, Massachusetts. She completed her Bachelor’s Degree in Business and Spanish at the University of Rhode Island in 2009. From 2009 to 2011 she worked to complete her Master’s Degree in Spanish Studies where she specialized in linguistic and cultural phenomena in the Latin American context. She worked as a Spanish teacher for several years at the secondary and university levels before breaking into the field of technology integration. She continued to pursue teaching through her service in the Peace Corps where she was an English teacher as well as a trainer of teachers.
Jenna Smith is very excited to be joining the RPCV/W board as the Special Events Director because it combines two of her greatest passions: event planning and being an active member of the international community. She has been lucky to find many opportunities to exercise these passions through the Peace Corps Community: first as a Health Volunteer in Madagascar from 2015-2017, then as a member of the Northern California Peace Corps Association Board in 2018, and finally, as the Event Manager for National Peace Corps Association's annual conference, Peace Corps Connect 2019 in Austin, Texas.
Maggie Liu served as a Youth and Community Development Peace Corps Volunteer on the island of Nevis of St. Kitts & Nevis 2009 – 2011. She serves as the 2020 Knowledge Management Director, a brand new role she’s excited to grow! Born in Taiwan and raised in southern California, Maggie came to D.C. for her dream job, at the UN Foundation, empowering girls around the world to be advocates for themselves and others. This California girl has also studied/worked in Illinois, Missouri, New York, China, and Tanzania. She is passionate about giving back to her community and exploring new places (includes eating and drinking). In addition to kicking butt on the 2020 Board, her goals also include fixing and riding a beaten, hand-me-down bike, getting her motorcycle license, and possibly throwing down for a motorcycle!! Don't be shy, say "HI!"
Hey there! I'm RPCV/W's 2020 President, Charlotte Stein. I’m so excited to lead our wonderful organization this year and to make it more responsive, inclusive and helpful than ever before. I hail from Madison, Wisconsin, so naturally, I have very strong opinions about cheese and beer. I had the pleasure of spending my Peace Corps service working with youth in Southeastern Morocco, from 2012-2014. My favorite activity during my Peace Corps service was writing and piloting a comprehensive Model UN curriculum that’s now used nationally!
Do you want to apply your talents to the growth of a membership organization? Do you want to be part of a community that embodies the spirit of Peace Corps? Do you want to be challenged, learn a ton of stuff, have a lot of fun, and make a significant impact? Returned Peace Corps Volunteers of Washington, D.C. (RPCV/W), a nonprofit organization, is looking for stellar leaders to take on volunteer roles on committees and its board of directors. This is a great opportunity for someone who wants not just a volunteer activity, but a long-term opportunity to empower the RPCV community, support returning volunteers, and build a network with volunteers from the last six decades.
This June, the Returned Peace Corps Volunteers of Washington, DC (RPCV/W) hosted its third career panel of the year, featuring many accomplished women in leadership roles. The event was well-attended and provided many critical insights for RPCVs seeking leadership positions. RPCV/W invites you to our next career panel, focusing on the nonprofit sector, on Tuesday, August 20. Not sure what to expect from the event? Read on!
Last month, I had the opportunity to attend the National Peace Corps Association (NPCA) Peace Corps Connect Conference in Austin, Texas. This year’s theme was “Innovation for Good.” I definitely got a sense of this as I seized this wonderful opportunity to meet Returned Peace Corps Volunteers (RPCVs) from across the country. The two-day agenda was packed with impressive speakers and panels, shared dinners and interesting volunteer opportunities.
It was not until I started settling in Porto-Novo, Benin, in my host family’s home, that I felt I may be living in the homeland of my direct ancestors. Before I arrived in Benin, I told no one that my father was Nigerian; he was in fact from the Yoruba tribe that also resided in Porto-Novo. My host family (who were also Yoruba) were very kind to me, it was clear to me they had hosted other African American volunteers. But it wasn’t until I began to tell them my middle name, my sister's and brother’s names, that I made a solid connection. We all had Nigerian middle names. These were the only things of substance our father left us after his death during our early childhood.