Cleveland State University alumna Alana Hodges of Loma Rica, California, has been accepted into the Peace Corps in Samoa and will depart on Oct. 4, 2019, to begin training as an education volunteer. She will serve as an English literacy educator.
“I wanted a way to help others that would also expand my cultural horizons. Being able to help people is my main focus, and the Peace Corps allows me to do that while teaching in another country,” said Hodges.
Hodges graduated from CSU in May, 2019 with a bachelor’s degree in health sciences and biology with a minor in chemistry. Prior to joining the Peace Corps, she worked as an office assistant in the CSU Department of Chemical and Biomedical Engineering, tutored students, and volunteered for Doctors on the Streets, a program of The MetroHealth System.
There are three Cleveland State University alumni currently serving as Peace Corps volunteers, and more than 157 alumni have served since Peace Corps was founded in 1961.
Peace Corps applicants have the option of choosing to serve where the need for their skills is greatest, or applying directly to open programs in specific countries and regions. Accepted applicants live with host families and receive three months of training before being assigned to a community in their country of service.
“I applied to serve in Samoa because I liked that I would be working with children, who are the minds of the future. I am most excited about being able to plan events and programs for the students I will work with to increase their desire to learn and explore,” Hodges said.
She will work in cooperation with the local people and partner organizations on sustainable, community-based development projects that improve the lives of people in Samoa and help Hodges develop leadership, technical and cross-cultural skills that will give her a competitive edge when she returns home.
“I hope to gain a new language and understanding of the Samoan people. I hope that my service will increase my understanding of other traditions and cultural norms,” Hodges said. “I’ve heard so many great stories about the Samoan people, and their traditions and kindness.”