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Celestina Agyekum '12, Peace Corps Volunteer in Burkina Faso #

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The prairie on fire during the annual Green Oaks Prairie Burn.

Celestina Agyekum ’12

Graduate student, Clark University

Major in Elementary Education, Minor in Anthropology-Sociology

After volunteering with the Peace Corps in Burkina Faso, Celestina is now seeking her master’s degree in International Development and Social Change.

Celestina Agyekum '12, Peace Corps Volunteer in Burkina Faso

What was your most memorable experience while in Burkina Faso?

One of my students had never spoken French and never heard it at home since the local language is Moore. He had just started learning French after I introduced it. One day, he started to measure the distance between two poles (to play soccer) in French! My mind was blown! Mind you, he is one of the students who will be caught day-dreaming in class at least 50 percent of the time. He didn't know I was watching him, but I always get goosebumps when I go down memory lane.

What are you doing now? How did your time in the Peace Corps affect your path?

I am a first-year graduate student in international development and social change at Clark University. I decided to serve before graduate school because I wanted to use Peace Corps as a decisive tool to determine what program I wanted to be my focus. However, I knew Clark was the only place I wanted to attend.

How did Knox prepare you for your time abroad?

I was exposed to diversity at Knox and that married well with my natural love of being around differences. Knox also hammered the notion of volunteerism and sustainability that I carry wherever I go. The talks I had, seminars I attended, and groups I joined all prepared me for my time abroad.

Outside of classes, what were your involvements at Knox? How did these things affect your education?

I was the president of Harambee, vice president of Knox Alumni Ambassadors, community chair for Mortar Board, and a Knox Admission Ambassador. I also choreographed for and participated in Terpsichore, volunteered on campus and in Uganda for six weeks, and served as Union Board technology chair.

My involvement educated me about things my professors did not touch on in class or that could not be taught because they were not tangible and cannot be measured. For example, being street smart and knowledgeable is a skill I learned from talking to other nationalities, listening to them, and observing their mannerisms. These skills inspired me to go places and experience what I talked about.

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#The love of giving back, personal and professional growth, and traveling inspired me to apply to Peace Corps.

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Printed on Tuesday, November 21, 2017

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