ING Aug/Sept 2018

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Spartans Making a Difference Across the Globe Peace Corps volunteer develops library for students in Sierra Leone BY ALLISON BERTRAM

Not everyone’s post-graduation plans include relocating to a developing nation, let alone dedicating years to volunteering. For Spartans, it’s a common theme to be uncommon. Michigan State University has regularly been recognized as a top volunteer-producing college for the Peace Corps. With numerous graduates spreading around the world, their stories of service continually inspire others to think outside the box and live to help others. Jordan Keefe’s story is no exception.

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Keefe arrived in Bonthe, Sierra Leone, in July 2017 to be an English teacher for middle school students. The small clay hut she called home had some getting used to at first.

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With the help of her neighbors—most of whom are half her age—she learned how to cook without a stovetop, sweep without a broom, wash clothes with the muscles in her hands and arms, and sit and enjoy the present. “It was hard to get used to not knowing how to do most things on my own and accept help from others,” Keefe said. “It was overwhelming never having a free second alone. I would get a knock on my door at 6:30 a.m., and from then on I would have visitors of all ages all day, until I collapse into my mosquito netcovered bed. When I first got to my new village, life was overwhelming, foreign and full of blessings.”


AUG/SEP 2018