President Obama wants everyone to get involved in community service. He’s leading by example, and now thousands are following his lead. The United States Peace Corps is seeing a huge increase in applicants, many coming from here in the desert.
Taylor Jordan is packing up, selling her house and starting a new life.
” After retiring, I cleared the yard, did some painting and then I thought, I don’t want to do this for the rest of my life,” says Taylor Jordan. ” I’m ready for something else.”
Jordan spent many years teaching english to foreign students, soon she’ll be the foreigner. She’s leaving her home, friends and belongings and going into the Peace Corps.
” I thought this is the time to go out and do what I want to do,” says Jordan.
This is a dream come true for the 69 year-old retiree. It’s an opportunity she never thought possible.
” I always wondered if they take older people,” says Jordan.
” The oldest volunteer is serving in his 80’s so as long as your in good health, you can go,” says Jeanette Earley, Regional Recruiter for the Peace Corps.
Jordan is joining a growing list of applicants, in the past year applications increased by 16 percent. That’s the largest jump in 5 years.
” With President Obama’s statement that he wants more people to get involved, that has really brought the numbers up,” says Earley.
Every year, the Peace Corps selects about 4 thousand new candidates to serve in one of 76 countries. It’s a 2 year commitment, and assignments are given based on experience.Jordan doesn’t know where she’s headed, but she will be teaching.
” I’m going to take it one day at a time,” says Jordan.
As her June departure day nears, Jordan thumbs through her closet deciding what stays and what goes. She’ll take very few items, just memories and necessities.
” I wonder if I need this,” laughs Jordan as she holds up a sparkling gown.
With dozens of questions about what to bring and what to expect, all Jordan really knows is an adventure lies ahead, a foreign land, language, and life. It’s an experience this teacher is excited to learn from.
” The more we talk and learn and explore, its makes this a better place,” says Jordan.
To learn more about the Peace Corps visit www.peacecorps.gov.