A student at the Florida International Robert Stempel College of Public Health and Social Work, Mr. Emmanuel Vega Arreola had been working with refugees and asylum seekers as part of his internship for his bachelor’s degree in social work when he decided that he wanted to get out of this comfort zone. He also wanted to find a way to combine his two passions: service and traveling.
So, he applied to The United States Peace Corps.
“I knew it was highly competitive and I felt out of this world when I heard that I had been accepted,” said Mr. Vega Arreola. “I had to prepare myself emotionally because I knew it would be a big challenge but I felt blessed as well.”
According to peacecorps.gov, the Peace Corps received more than 17,000 applications last year for fewer than 4,000 positions.
In August, upon hearing that he was accepted to the program, Mr. Vega Arreola learned that he would be stationed in a rural village in Thailand, where he will be working a Youth Development Volunteer.
“My degree in social work ties in perfectly with what I will be doing during my time in The Peace Corps,” continued Mr. Vega Arreola. “That is where I learned to really connect with people. Thanks to the classes that I took and the diversity of students at FIU, I feel like I am prepared for this challenge.”
The course that he is most grateful for having taken is Social Work Practices with Communities and Organizations, as it taught him how to go into a community and use macro social work skills to integrate and build professional relationships, gain trust and empower the people he works with.Friday Letter Submission