Forest Lake resident Megan Gooley departed July 8 to begin her Peace Corps service.
Gooley, 22, began training as a science education volunteer. She will teach science and integrate health and environmental education into lessons for secondary-school students.
The daughter of Michael and Melanie Gooley and a 2009 Forest Lake High School graduate, in 2012 she earned a bachelor’s degree in physics from the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul.
“St. Thomas encourages students to volunteer and to study abroad,” Gooley said. “At St. Thomas I enjoyed volunteering as a tutor and had a great study-abroad experience. This made me want to pursue the Peace Corps.”
During the first three months of her service in Tanzania, Gooley will complete technical, language, health, and safety training while living with a host family to become fully immersed in the country’s language and culture.
The training and cultural exchange will not only prepare Gooley for her two years of service but also allow community members to gain a better understanding of Americans.
After being sworn into service and assigned to a community, Gooley will work on sustainable, community-driven development projects.
Gooley joins the 233 Minnesota residents currently serving in the Peace Corps. More than 6,287 Minnesota residents have served as volunteers since the agency was created in 1961.
In Tanzania there are currently 167 Peace Corps volunteers working in education, environment, agriculture and health. Volunteers are trained and work in the Kiswahili language.
President John F. Kennedy signed the executive order establishing the Peace Corps. Volunteers must be U.S. citizens, at least 18 years old and able to sign on for a 27-month commitment.
The agency’s mission is to promote world peace and better understanding between Americans and people of other countries. Visit www.peacecorps.gov for more information.