MURRAY, KY (KFVS) - In June 2018, a recent Murray State graduate will begin serving as a volunteer in the Community Economic Development sector of the Peace Corps in Moldova.
Tyler Matthews, originally from Springfield, graduated from Murray in December 2017 with a bachelor's degree in international business and political science. He decided to submit an application to the Peace Corps after doing extensive research prior to his graduation. The Peace Corps is a leading service organization operated by the U.S. government that is dedicated to creating positive change in the world through immersive international volunteer experiences. The Peace Corps has a very competitive application process, and serving with the Peace Corps is a prestigious opportunity.
"I was really conflicted on where I wanted to go post-undergrad," Mathews said. "I wanted to travel, I wanted to use what I've learned in undergrad and I wanted to learn from people who have experienced vastly different lives. I think, at least for me, the combination of those three ideas screams the Peace Corps."
After speaking with a recruiter from the organization, Matthews enrolled in the Peace Corps Prep Program at Murray State. The program pairs select undergraduate courses with leadership and community service opportunities. It provides hands-on learning experiences and professional development training for improving foreign language proficiency, intercultural competence, and more.
"The classes I took as part of my major — the same classes required for the [Peace Corps Prep] program — were arguably the most beneficial classes I will ever take," Mathews said. "Their content is so practical and easily applied to the fields within the Peace Corps. I think it is certainly a program that anyone considering Peace Corps service should take as they will provide a sense of understanding and, if they're like me, curiosity and passion for their field of choice."
At the beginning of his 27 months of service, starting in June 2018, Matthews will complete in-country training focused on language, community economic development, culture and medicine. He will be serving in the Eastern European country of Moldova. Matthews will then travel to his permanent site location to complete his service, working alongside Moldovan community members and training locals how to be better volunteers.
"I'm very excited for Tyler and the adventure he is about to embark on," said Shawna Thomas, program coordinator for Murray State's Peace Corps Prep Program. "Tyler is not only the first graduate of the program to receive an invitation to serve as a volunteer but he is also the first graduate of the program in the state of Kentucky to receive an invitation to serve."
For more information about the Peace Corps Prep Program at Murray State, please visit murraystate.edu/academics/pcprep or contact Thomas at email@example.com.