“Serving in the Peace Corps was one of the hardest things I ever decided to do. There’s this romanticized thinking about the Peace Corps that the challenge is in living without running water or electricity for two years. But that wasn’t my experience. I actually had internet and a washing machine in my house.
For me, Peace Corps service was difficult because it taught me that no matter how smart I am, no matter my good intentions, no matter how well I speak the language, it is a challenge to say with confidence that a job is well done. It is a challenge to know where to being and in some ways easier to accept the paralysis caused by the potential harm your work could do. But it is also that challenge that makes the work so essential. Having the smartest, most dedicated people doing this work alongside local partners is the best way to work toward better demonstrations of impact and ultimately better outcomes for the individuals and communities whose goals we are working to make possible. Good intention in development is not sufficient; instead we need people who dedicate years of their lives and all of their critical thought to improving not just the lives of others but also the mechanisms by which those services are implemented.”
– Rebecca TeKolste, Yale Global Affairs MA ’18, Peace Corps Volunteer