Troy University’s John W. Schmidt Center for Student Success has partnered with the Peace Corps to offer a Peace Corps Prep certificate.
This program is advantageous for students applying to the Peace Corps and prepares students for careers in public service.
Roger “Trey” Smith, who graduates in December, is the first TROY student to complete the certification process.
The Peace Corps Prep program requires competence in four core areas, all of which he fulfilled during his time at TROY. These qualifications include skill development across the sectors of academic, career and service.
His list of accomplishments includes over 50 hours of service, including a medical mission trip to Paraguay.
While the program aims to work with students earlier in their college career, Smith, because of his expansive academic resume, was able to complete the program his senior year.
This is rare, according to Lauren Cole, the Coordinator of Career Services, and she suggests students interested in joining the Peace Corps after graduating begin the Peace Corps Prep requirements as soon as possible.
“Students majoring in the humanities, foreign languages or the sciences may have already completed classes that qualify for the Peace Corps Prep certificate,” Cole said. Students will select one area of interest and may choose from the following categories: medical services, education, environment, youth and development, or community economic development.
Smith said he was intrigued when he learned of the program.
“I’ve always been super interested in the Peace Corps,” he said.
Students must fulfill their academic requirements before moving onto the other portions of the program.
“Once they complete the academic requirements, there is a professional development portion through Career Services involving a resume review and mock interview. The final area is completing service hours through the Office of Civic Engagement,” Cole said.
The Peace Corps Prep program requires students to obtain 50 hours of community service, which can be done either in a local community or abroad.
Service hours previously completed by students may potentially be accepted as part of the total amount of hours necessary to complete the program.
Smith completed his service hours through various programs, including his study abroad medical mission trip through E3 Partners Ministry, Real Talk on Race – a group focused on working with Charles Henderson Middle School to discuss sensitive topics with children – and landscape work with Community Gardens.
“The bulk of my hours came from the health center here in Troy, outside Hamil Hall,” Smith said. “I did triage there, checking vitals and filing paperwork.”
Smith is aspiring to attend medical school and use the skills he’s already developed to help people in multiple capacities in the hopes of one day becoming an emergency room physician.
“I’ve always been attracted to humanitarian work,” he said. “The medical mission trip to Paraguay ignited me. I just really fell in love with South America. The villages are very close-knit. You get a real sense of community there.”
TROY students interested can visit the Peace Corps Prep page on the my.troy.edu website for more information and to view the application.