The Peace Corps visited CSUN on Wednesday to encourage students to go out and experience the world, while changing it for the better.
Nick Leichliter, a Peace Corp volunteer who recently returned, spoke about his own experiences and what students and community members should expect if they joined.
Leichliter’s main point was that joining the Peace Corps is not only life changing for those you help, but also life changing to go to places like Africa and South America to aid in education, health or economic improvement.
While it is life changing, Leichliter also mentioned how it isn’t just traveling around the world but also requires plenty of hard work.
“The Peace Corps will make you test yourself,” said Leichliter. “It will be challenging at times but when you overcome these challenges, it will make you stronger.”
Leichliter talked about some of the harder times in the Peace Corps, pointing out times of seeing corruption in the government or harsh and unfair treatment.
Although he witnessed inequality, he said there was always something that always kept him going.
“The brilliant kids I taught and the people I met were what made everything easier to handle,” said Leichliter. “I think these kids would go on to do great things for their country or for their tribe or community.”
Nicole Francia, a Northridge community member, highlighted what kind of impact the Peace Corps members could have on people.
“I am originally from the Congo and my parents were taught by Peace Corps members and ever since then I have wanted to join,” Francia said. “I just feel I am at a place in my life where it is time.”
The Peace Corps not only help those in other countries but also provide assistance to those willing to work in the Peace Corps.
They offer loan reductions, grad school benefits, job placement support and many other benefits for those who serve two years or more in the Peace Corps.
Noah Lloyd, a history major at CSUN, wants to make an impact right out of college.
“I have studied Russian and Soviet histories and have also studied the Russian language for a few years. So being able to go to these countries and work their would be a huge opportunity for me,” said Lloyd.
Lloyd was also aware of the benefits that come along for being a Peace Corps member.
“It would also get my foot in the door for government jobs and it would look great on a resume,” he added.
For students interested in joining the Peace Corps, Leichliter said college is a great time to gather the necessary experience to go on a Peace Corps mission.
Leichliter emphasized finding time to volunteer at non-profit organizations in the education or health fields is a great way to gain experience.