Volunteer who served in Zambia now helps others in the Seattle area begin their service journey.

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Matt Young

What do you do? As a recruiter for the Peace Corps, I provide application advice for candidates for Peace Corps service throughout the northern Washington area and ensure that they have the knowledge and resources to make informed decisions for themselves. I also represent the agency at Seattle-area events and coordinate our partnerships with local universities and community organizations.

How did you get started in that field? I served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Zambia in sub-Saharan Africa from 2013–15, promoting small-scale aquaculture among rural subsistence farmers in my community. I saw recruiting as the perfect opportunity to use both my event coordination experience in the U.S. and my community outreach experience in Zambia to help guide the next generation of Peace Corps volunteers here in Seattle.

What’s a typical day like? On a typical day, I interact with dozens of Americans at various stages of their Peace Corps journey. I visit classrooms at schools like Seattle University and Seattle Pacific University, and give information sessions to local organizations like the Puget Sound Officers Association and the University of Washington Retirees Association. Then when I return to my home-based office, I conduct phone appointments with several more candidates, from nurses to engineers to lawyers to foresters.

What surprises people about what you do? Folks are always surprised to learn that there is no upper age limit for serving in the Peace Corps — our oldest currently serving volunteer is 83 years old. The more professional experience you have, the more qualified you are for Peace Corps service. In fact, for the first time in our 57-year history, applicants can now choose what they want to do and where they can serve in the Peace Corps.

What’s the best part of the work? Peace Corps volunteers come from all walks of life and all sectors of industry, so I have the privilege of meeting with a fascinating and diverse group of people on a daily basis. They are eager to learn about my experience in the Peace Corps, and I am inspired and humbled by their passion and their energy.

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