I just found my cover letter for my Peace Corps application and I thought it was a nice summary of the infamous question… why did I join?? I’m sure over the next two years there will be days, or months when I can’t remember why I thought service was a good idea. Hopefully letters like this can help keep me motivated.
To Whom It May Concern,
Many people refer to Liberal Studies as a general degree. However, for me it is very specific because I chose the classes in my program. I began designing my degree in my Junior year of college when I realized my professional goals included completion of a Master’s degree in Public Health (MPH). I worked with my academic advisor to find appropriate classes from political science, history, social work, sociology, psychology and other fields – all focused on health care. I came away with a multidimensional perspective on human wellness and social problems which will launch me towards my goal, a career focused on public health.
Now that my official education is coming to a close, I am seeking to continue learning through professional experience before applying to graduate school. The Peace Corps has drawn my attention because of its excellent reputation in the field of public health. I have spoken with many who have served in the Peace Corps and after over a year of careful research and consideration, I have decided that a commitment to service with this program is the right choice for me academically and professionally.
On a personal level, I view the Peace Corps as commitment of service. At Grand Valley, I came across an essay by William Cronan called “Only Connect…” and it has influenced the way I think about my personal and professional goals immensely. In this essay, Cronan says, “In the end, it turns out that liberty is not about thinking or saying or doing whatever we want. It is about exercising our freedom in such a way as to make a difference in the world and make a difference for more than just ourselves.” For me, my education is not about making a comfortable living. My education is a wonderful tool to use the knowledge I have gained to help others and to learn from them.