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Rachel Albright ’12 Begins Peace Corps Service in Swaziland

Rachel Albright

Rachel Albright, with her parents, William and Teresa

Rachel Albright ’12, of Altoona, was accepted into the Peace Corps and departed for Swaziland on June 23 to begin training as a youth development volunteer. Rachel is teaching life skills to local youth and participating in a secondary project to help meet community development needs. As she prepared to depart for Swaziland, she anticipated her own personal growth in her host community.

“I’m looking forward to being pushed outside of my comfort zone and learning and growing personally,” she said. “I feel I will learn just as much, if not more, from the people of Swaziland as they will learn from me.”

Rachel is the daughter of William and Teresa Albright and a graduate of Bellwood-Antis High School. She earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology from IUP and her master’s degree in applied developmental psychology from the University of Pittsburgh in 2014.

Rachel said she will miss her family the most during her two years overseas, along with plenty of other American comforts.

“I’m sure I will miss certain amenities, like running water and electricity of course, but I’ll learn to live as the Swazis do,” she explained. “They also do not have Chipotle in Swaziland, so I may go through a little withdrawal.”

During the first three months of her service, she lived with a host family in Swaziland to become fully immersed in the country’s language and culture. After acquiring the language and cultural skills necessary to assist her community, she was to be sworn into service and assigned to a community in Swaziland, where she will live and work for two years with the local people.

“I hope to be a positive role model for the kids,” she noted. “I want to leave behind an accurate and positive impression of our country. I also hope that I am successful with my main project and am able to make my work sustainable for the Swazi people.”

Rachel interned as a clinical associate at SAFE (Services for Adolescent and Family Enrichment), a Pittsburgh-based outpatient program that provides mental health treatment to local children and adolescents in the juvenile court system.

She joins the 270 Pennsylvania residents currently serving in the Peace Corps and more than 7,900 Pennsylvania residents who have served in the Peace Corps since 1961.

Pennsylvania was recently recognized as a top producer of Peace Corps volunteers. It ranked sixth among states with the highest number of Peace Corps volunteers currently serving overseas. See a complete 2014 rankings of Peace Corps top states and metro areas.

About Peace Corps/Swaziland

There are 76 volunteers in Swaziland working with their communities on projects in health and youth development. During their service in Swaziland, volunteers learn to speak siSwati. More than 1,600 Peace Corps volunteers have served in Swaziland since the program was established in 1968.

About the Peace Corps

The Peace Corps sends the best and brightest Americans abroad on behalf of the United States to tackle the most pressing needs of people around the world. Volunteers work at the grassroots level to develop sustainable solutions that address challenges in education, health, economic development, agriculture, environment, and youth development. Through their service, volunteers gain a unique cultural understanding and a lifelong commitment to service that positions them to succeed in today’s global economy. Since President John F. Kennedy established the Peace Corps in 1961, nearly 220,000 Americans of all ages have served in 140 countries worldwide.