As I observed the discussion of China’s entry into the World Trade Organization in 1998, I saw an opportunity as a stronger relationship between the United States and China took place. I am fluent in a Chinese dialect. And, as my passion for understanding more about Chinese history and culture grew, I found learning its written language easier. By the year 2000, I was determined to go to China.
My plan was to work through J.E.T-like programs that were starting in China. The demand for English teachers was high and the relative standard of living for a teacher was good. I was going to work as an English teacher in exchange for learning how to speak and write Mandarin fluently. Once I had fluency, I would seek employment in a joint U.S.-China business venture, and develop my career within.
Then, I found the Peace Corps. Professor Beth Wilson of Humboldt State University did a PowerPoint presentation of her Peace Corps volunteer teaching experience in Niger, Africa (1986-88). She not only exposed me to the Peace Corps, but also inspired me to pursue a career in economic development. After the Peace Corps, I look forward to working for organizations that focus on increasing the strength of U.S.-China trade relations. I believe that stronger, mutually beneficial trade relations between these two nations would discourage military conflict. As more large U.S. corporations work with Chinese corporations in joint ventures, companies from both nations will see greater benefit from such partnerships. In turn, they will use their political leverage to discourage government policies that would disrupt the benefits of those relationships, such as war.
Beyond my career goals and hopeful ideals, I am attracted to the prestige of service in the Peace Corps. My value in volunteerism has been consistent throughout my lifetime. As a volunteer in the Peace Corps, I will reaffirm what I have always felt as important in any ambitious or accomplished person’s life: giving back to the community. The sense of personal fulfillment from volunteering was first felt through helping my favorite teachers after class in grade school. During secondary school, my two terms as president of Key Club (volunteer clubs sponsored by Kiwanis International) facilitated membership growth from fifteen to fifty students. Together, my classmates and I became the volunteering powerhouse within our division of thirteen schools. In college, I continued to volunteer as a peer coach in debate, a tutor for various subjects, a mentor for youth, and as an officer of public relations for the university’s Asian Pacific American Student Alliance. As a graduate, I am currently volunteering my time to develop a budget to upgrade Humboldt State University classrooms to “Smart Classrooms.” I have volunteered throughout my adolescent life. I want to continue to volunteer in my adult life, and I am excited that such prestige would come with it.
The Peace Corps teaching program in China is everything that I’ve been looking for and more. I look forward to an interview to discuss this further!