As a part of the Peace Corps general application, there is a section where they challenge you to write about why you want to join the Peace Corps, what challenges you think you may face physically, mentally, and emotionally, and then you have to provide thoughtful solutions to help you face these challenges during your service.
This was the area of the application I had the most doubts about because it is the least structured. I was able to find a few examples some current volunteers had posted which helped me a lot in deciding how I wanted to approach this thing! I hope my own Aspiration Statement can help you gather your thoughts and am curious to know what your motivations are.
Everyone comes to service for different reasons, so we all have different statements and goals we want to achieve from our time in the Peace Corps. When you have put yours into words, please share in the comments below! And as always, feel free to reach out with any questions you may have. Good luck on your applications!
Peace Corps service presents major physical, emotional, and intellectual challenges. Please provide a few paragraphs explaining your reasons for wanting to serve as a Peace Corps Volunteer and how you plan to overcome the various challenges associated with Peace Corps service.
We will use this writing sample to assess your professionalism and maturity as a candidate. Please spend time editing your motivation statement. We recommend that you draft it in a separate document and cut and paste it into the box below. (4,000 characters, or approximately 500 words)
I am applying to be a Secondary English Teacher in Zambia partially because I am interested in the extra training and consistent performance feedback that would come with the TEFL certificate program and also because I am passionate about improving access to quality education around the world. I admire the goal to create sustainable programs that will last past my service and the need to integrate into a culture so different from my own. I want to use the lessons I learn from this experience to better understand the challenges many global communities face and share what I learn with students here in the U.S. after my service has ended to start to help broaden the ideas our culture tends to have about other parts of the world.
Leaving my family is the hardest part of any undertaking, but after living elsewhere for years at a time as I studied, traveled, or worked we have established various communication methods that ease the hardship. My English Clubs in the past have also enjoyed snacks they’ve sent and liked practicing English by writing letters or cards to my family or to classes of my teacher friends from around the country. Their unwavering support gives me strength in even the toughest of times. Having lived in a culture very different from the U.S. already, I know that language barriers, harassment, constant curiosity about my lifestyle (mostly my relationship status), American stereotypes, and feeling isolated are all challenges I will face but I also know that the positive experiences I’ll gain and having the opportunity to share my passion for universal access to quality education will outweigh the hardships. I have already overcome these difficulties, so I know I have the tools and ability to do it again.
I am interested in learning as much as I can about the lifestyles and the challenges faced by many communities around the world. Being without reliable electricity or clean running water will be hard but it will help me to better understand the needs of my students and community as well as relate to my most underprivileged students here in the States after my service. My easy going nature and willingness to laugh at myself give me plenty of patience and flexibility—two traits useful for confronting unexpected challenges, appreciating simple living, and forging intercultural relationships.
Ultimately, my decision to apply to the Peace Corps came after years of consideration; research about the program and education systems in foreign countries; the desire to serve others; gaining the experience necessary to feel qualified to help others; and my desire to build my skills in forging relationships, teaching English as a foreign language, adapting to my surroundings, and leadership. The thorough training involved in Peace Corps as well as my past experiences would ensure that I have the tools to help as many people as possible in country during the time allotted to me, and back at home for the duration of my teaching career.