Oakwood Register

May 20, 2015

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May 20, 2015 THE OAKWOOD REGISTER Vol. 24, No. 20 May 20, 2015 www.oakwoodregister.com Inspired by South African trip, Oakwood's Foos to serve in Peace Corps in Gambia Kristen Foos, 23, of Oakwood, has been accepted into the Peace Corps and will depart for Africa on May 28 to begin training as an education volunteer. The daughter of Brian and Tina Foos of Oakwood and a 2011 graduate of Oakwood High School, Foos will live and work at the community level in Gambia to make a difference training prima- ry school teachers to improve their methodologies and introduce new classroom strategies, a Peace Corps spokesman said. Foos was inspired to serve in the Peace Corps by Mama Rosie, a woman she met during a service trip to South Africa while attending col- lege at Ohio State University, where she earned a bachelor's degree in pre-education English in 2015. "She had dedicated her entire life to giving back to the people in her community. She inspired me to do something meaningful with my life," Foos said. "I am so excited to go to Gambia and give back to the commu- nity, just as Mama Rosie gave back to her community." "During my undergraduate expe- rience I served as the vice presi- dent of philanthropy for my sorority, Alpha Chi Omega, and I took part in various service trips to South Africa, Belize, and Jamaica," Foos recalled. "These undergraduate experiences made me passionate about giving back and inspired me to join the Peace Corps." During her first three months of service, Foos will live with a host family in Gambia to learn the local language and integrate into the local culture. After acquiring the language and cultural skills that will help her make a lasting difference, Foos will be sworn into service and assigned to a community in Gambia where she will serve for two years. Foos will work in cooperation with the local people and partner organizations on sustainable, com- munity-based development projects that improve the lives of people in Gambia and help Foos develop lead- ership, technical and cross-cultural skills that will give her a competitive edge when she returns home. Peace Corps volunteers return from service as global citizens well-positioned for professional opportunities in today's global job market, the Peace Corps spokesman added. "I am most excited to work with the children in the school I'm assigned to," Foos said. "I hope to come back having mastered a new language." Foos joins the 237 Ohio resi- dents currently serving in the Peace Corps. To date, more than 7,120 Ohioans have served as volunteers since the agency was created in 1961. There are currently 70 Peace Corps volunteers in Gambia work- ing on projects in education, health and the environment. During their service in Gambia, volunteers learn to speak local languages, including Jola, Mandinka, Pulaar, Sarahule and Wolof. Kristen Foos in Jamaica Photos by Leon Chuck

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