Caleigh Holton, who graduated Verona High School with the Class of 2017, is headed to Tanzania with the Peace Corps. Holton will be among the first Peace Corps volunteers to return to overseas service since the agency pulled nearly 7,000 volunteers out of their assignments in more than 60 countries when COVID-19 began.
Holton is a graduate of California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, with a bachelor’s degree in aerospace engineering. She will serve as an education volunteer in Tanzania.
“Before I jump right into the engineering industry, the Peace Corps is a great opportunity to work alongside a global community,” Holton said. “Being born in China, and getting the opportunity to go back and study abroad, gave me a glimpse into what seemed like another world and sparked my cultural curiosity. I am honestly most excited to experience new cultures and I can’t wait to meet new people.” Holton, who is currently living in San Diego, heads to Tanzania in February.
The volunteer cohorts going abroad now are made up of both first-time Peace Corps volunteers and volunteers who were evacuated in early 2020. 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.
If you want to do what Holton is doing, you should know that the Peace Corps is recruiting volunteers to serve in 56 countries. You can apply to Peace Corps service at www.peacecorps.gov/apply. Verona’s previous Peace Corps volunteers include Kate Foster, VHS ’75, who is now president of The College of New Jersey (TCNJ). Chris Looney, VHS ’09, served in the Peace Corps in Burkina Faso.