Monday, December 31, 2012

The Backstory

So...why the Peace Corps? 

People have been asking me this since I made the official announcement earlier this year. Apparently not everyone is as excited as I am about the prospect of living in a foreign land where resources are less available to do some good.  Here's a bit of an explanation. Anyone who knows my family knows that they are the definition of givers. Teachers by day, volunteers by night, I was brought up in a culture of giving. Daily. And I, most definitely, caught the bug.
The Larson Legacy - Chino Community Children's Theatre
25th Anniversary Show Cast
The first time I remember hearing about the Peace Corps, Mr. Morey's history class in 8th grade, my ears perked up more than usual. As I heard about JFK Jr. starting the Peace Corps in 1961 and sending regular citizens out to other countries to help make the world a better place, I began to fall in love with the idea. I asked questions of my parents, my teachers, and eventually, my grandfather. Ole told me that being a volunteer was the only way to live a meaningful life. From then on, my mind was set.

JFK Speaking on the Peace Corps

As we all know, life doesn't always produce a straight line from A to B, especially when one determines what they'll do before entering high school, but I never forgot my goal. All of my college entrance essays, scholarship applications, and even my wedding vows (however brief that period lasted) included my dreams of Peace Corps service.
"The future belongs to those who believe in the 
beauty of their dreams." 
~Eleanor Roosevelt
Now, in my 30th year, this dream that was hatched so many years ago on a Junior High School campus in Chino, California will be transporting me (and about 50 other volunteers) to Thailand for a 27 month adventure, the likes of which I have never experienced before. I am nervous. I am joyful. I am humbled. Above all, I am thankful for this incredible opportunity.

Welcome to my journey!


  1. Great story, Jessie. Looking forward to meeting you in a couple weeks. Enjoy them :)

    1. Right back at you, Jay! Happy New Year! Here's to a grand adventure in spirit and service.

  2. To give of one's self is the greatest and most rewarding gift in one's lifetime!!! Rewarding to self and to the one who has been given the gift. Selflessness ...Having, exhibiting, or motivated by no concern for oneself; unselfish: "Volunteers need both selfish and selfless motives to sustain their interest" Natalie de Combray My Best Jess!!!

    1. My dear Kym,
      Thank you for your encouraging words and all of your support throughout my entire journey. I'm so glad to have you as my cousin and pleased as punch to know you'll be checking in on me through this blog!
      Lovingly yours,