Psychology grad begins work with Peace Corps


Kendall Geist ‘19, a recent Bloomsburg University psychology graduate, is halfway through her 10-week health volunteer training with the Peace Corps in Sierra Leona.

“We’ve been learning culture, local languages, and common health issues,” Geist said. “After the 10 weeks, I’ll officially become a volunteer and move to a new village where I will work on health projects based on my community’s needs.”

Geist says it’s up to the volunteers to implement their own projects, such as assisting at local clinics, teach health education classes and workshops, and planting and maintaining community gardens. Others, she says, apply for grants for projects like building community centers, water pumps, adding solar power to clinics, etc.

“After I move to my new village, I’ll focus on integrating and assessing my community’s needs for the first three months,” Geist said. “Then, I’ll finally start working on my projects. I’m excited to move to my new village and see what my community wants and needs.”

Update (Aug. 15): “I’m finishing my last two weeks of training, and then I’ll move to my new village,” Geist said. “The previous volunteer in my village was working on adding an extension to the clinic so they can accommodate more patients, and an extension to the school so they can offer another year of classes to the community.”

Geist said she plans on finishing those projects when she gets to her new village, then coming up with some other new projects of her own.

“The Peace Corps is an interesting thing to do after college,” Geist said. “Especially for people who aren’t sure what they want to do after graduation.”