Sauquoit resident Jacquelyn Scibior is among the first Peace Corps volunteers to return to overseas service since the agency’s unprecedented global evacuation in March 2020.
The Peace Corps suspended global operations and evacuated nearly 7,000 volunteers from more than 60 countries at the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“From a young age I knew I wanted to serve as a Peace Corps volunteer, particularly in a Spanish speaking country,” Scibior said. “I look forward to the many ways my life will be impacted by working in a country with a unique culture.”
Scibior is a graduate of Clarkson University with a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering. She also was a skating coach for the Clinton Figure Skating Club.
She will serve as a health volunteer in Peru. The volunteer cohorts are made up of both first-time volunteers and volunteers who were evacuated in early 2020.
“When my older sister passed away, I was forced to grow up and care for my siblings, which required a lot of responsibility,” Scibior said. “This was a blessing in disguise, as I became a strongly driven individual, with a desire to impact the world in a sustainable way.’’
She has traveled to over 40 countries. “I feel it is my turn to give back and help provide better water, hygiene, and sanitation for those in Peru using my engineering background. I cannot wait for this life changing experience,’’ she said.
Upon finishing a three-month training, volunteers will collaborate with their host communities on locally prioritized projects in one of Peace Corps’ six sectors – agriculture, community economic development, education, environment, health or youth in development – and all will engage in Covid-19 response and recovery work.
In March, the Peace Corps welcomed the first volunteers to service in Zambia. The agency is recruiting volunteers to serve at 24 of the agency’s 60 posts, though all posts have enthusiastically requested the return of volunteers.
She said those who helped her made sacrifices. “My parents, coaches, teachers, community members, family members and friends. I came to appreciate these as I matured, and always felt the best way to show my gratitude would be to give back my knowledge and skills,’’ Scibior said.
“I was always intrigued by the stories my aunt had as an RPCV (returned Peace Corps volunteer), and through years of speaking with Peace Corps staff and returned volunteers, I knew this organization was the perfect avenue for me to give back.
“I enjoyed traveling a lot growing up and remember seeing young children, barefoot, carrying buckets of water to their homes, which had no electricity or running water. This image stuck with me for years, and I continued to seek out experiences in which I could visit more remote and impoverished communities,’’ she said.
She was also impressed by the attitude of those people….