Tyler Bagi a secondary education major is in his last semester at Millersville University (MU) while preparing for the biggest challenge of his life. Bagi learned about the Peace Corps during his sophomore year from a family friend who had served in West Africa. Around the same time, he became more involved in outdoor education and the ropes course at MU as well as camping and rock climbing. Dr. Tim Mahoney in the Educational Foundations department and Dr. Gordon Nesbitt, director of Campus Recreation are huge advocates of Peace Corps service and that was the push Bagi needed to decide to pursue this opportunity.
The process of joining the Peace Corps starts out with applying through their website. You fill out basic personal information as well as a health profile. Then you choose the countries you would like to live in and which specific opportunity you are applying for. The Peace Corps then lets you know which positions you’re suitable for and then you move on to the interview. The interview consists of personality-based questions. Once the interview is concluded, you either receive an invitation to serve in one of the positions you were a candidate for, or you receive a notice to re-apply.
Bagi received his invitation to serve at the end of the fall 2016 semester. He departs in September and will be serving for a period of 27 months co-teaching English in secondary schools in Macedonia. He will also be involved in secondary projects that range from an outdoor leadership camp run by the YMCA that brings together youth from conflicting ethnic groups to starting English-based clubs or activities like drama, literature, film or any kind of sport or activity.
The Peace Corps program in Macedonia began in 1996 with the first group of English teachers in secondary schools. Over the next few years, the program developed and grew to include programs in business, environment, local government and non-governmental organization development. The Peace Corps program was suspended in 1999 and again in 2001 because of the political unrest in neighboring Kosovo and grievances between ethnic Albanians and the Macedonian majority which led to armed conflict in some communities. In November 2002, Peace Corps Macedonia welcomed the seventh group of volunteers after a rigorous safety and security assessment of the situation in Macedonia determined that enough stability had been achieved to support the return of the Peace Corps.
To learn more about the Peace Corps and the volunteer opportunities available, visit https://www.peacecorps.gov/.