Aspiration Statements

After Chris and I accepted our invitation to serve in Ghana we were asked to write an aspiration statement. This is one of the first things our community leaders and counterparts will receive about us. Warning- It’s a long post, mostly for future PCVs who want an idea of what these look like or anyone who wants to brave the read.  Xo

Aspiration Statement

Kallie Orlik

Ghana

February 2, 2015

Identify three professional attributes that you plan to use during your Peace Corps service and how these will help meet your aspirations and commitment to service.

My aspirations while serving in Ghana are threefold: to build meaningful relationships, partake in a cultural exchange, and assist my community in meeting its desired needs. Achieving these aspirations will require attributes that I have been developing through current and previous professional work. The first attribute would be cohesively working, living, and learning alongside community members, volunteers, and counterparts. I am a big team player and this requires compassion, listening skills, initiative, leadership, enthusiasm and communication. Relationships hold utmost value in my mind and I plan to work hard at developing them. The second attribute would be patience. Building new relationships and creating lasting change takes time. While working as an adolescent therapist I’ve learned that you aren’t always able to see the full fruition of your work, but all along seeds are being planted. I hope to sow many seeds while in my community. Finally, I plan to draw on my passion for wellness and social advocacy to inspire others as we work together. I see the unquestionable benefit of nutritional education, clean and readily available water, community gardens, HIV/AIDS education, and malaria prevention practices. I am passionate about these issues and can’t wait to collaborate with and work alongside my community as we dive in together.

Briefly identify two strategies for working effectively with host country partners to meet expressed needs.

Getting the opportunity to live and work within a Ghanaian community is one of my chief motivations for joining the Peace Corps. In order to effectively work alongside our community partners one the primary characteristics I intend to employ is adaptability. To me, that means adjusting to new conditions with a willing an optimistic attitude. I hope to utilize patience, humor, and flexibility as I begin to integrate and work within the community. Another important strategy for being an effective volunteer would be to keep lines of communication open. I will work hard to learn Twi or whatever language is most prominent in my village. I expect to have many conversations which will help me gain perspective on the health and sanitation needs in Ghana. This will help ensure these projects are sustainable, and will continue to function long after I am gone.

Your strategy for adapting to a new culture with respect to your own cultural background.

My strategy for adapting to a Ghanaian culture would be to be open, flexible, and teachable. I honestly can’t wait to dive in. I know at times that I may be overwhelmed. In those instances, I hope to be patient with myself and those around me. Maintaining my sense of humor is essential. One of the many benefits of Peace Corps service is getting to experience life in a whole different way. I hope to fully embrace the opportunity with humor, lightness, and perseverance.

The skills and knowledge you hope to gain during pre-service training to best serve your future community and project.

During pre-service training my hope is to become well-versed in Twi so that I can communicate effectively throughout the country. My aim is to build meaningful relationships with my host family, PC volunteers, and other members of the community. From them, and in training, I would like to learn more about the local culture and aspirations of Ghana. I hope to spend time talking with community officials, educators, and citizens to gain perspective on the health needs in their communities.

How you think Peace Corps Service will influence your personal and professional aspirations after your service ends.

Serving in the Peace Corps is a great opportunity for personal development and growth. I know that to be certain. The exact way that it will change and shape me, I do not know. I hope to return a more patient individual with a new confidence and fervor for meeting life’s challenges. I hope to meet many people, Ghanaian and American, who will open my mind to new ideas and challenge me in ways I haven’t been challenged. I hope to learn and grow alongside them as we work and live together. As for professional aspirations, I see myself doing a variety of work that involves wellness coaching, counseling social work, and environmental advocacy. These line up really well with what I will be doing in the Peace Corps. My hope is that serving will help equip me with more professional skills and attributes that I can apply upon return. I’m not exactly sure how the Peace Corps will influence these, but I am certain that it will help prepare me to continue living out a life of passion for environmental and social advocacy.

Aspiration Statement

Christopher Orlik

Ghana

February 2, 2015

Identify three professional attributes that you plan to use during your Peace Corps service and how these will help meet your aspirations and commitment to service.

While serving in the Peace Corps, I plan to use a variety of different professional attributes to help meet my aspirations and commitments to service. Many of these attributes I am likely going to develop or adapt while in service, but prior to departing for Peace Corps service, I predict that I will use an attribute of a constant learning mindset. Being able to learn and adapt to specific circumstances allows for the overcoming of obstacles and identification of problems that need solving. Learning from the people where I will be serving as well as sharing with them what knowledge I may have that could benefit them. Following a similar line of attribute, being able to effectively communicate and listen will also help to connect with Ghanaians and will allow for cultural differences to become less of obstacles and more of opportunities to learn and develop relationships. Communication is vital not only as a leader, but also as one who is learning. It is an all-around important skill; and it will be vital to use creativity and patience to effectively communicate through any possible cultural differences. The third professional attribute I plan on using is being motivated and a self-starter. Through this attribute I plan to be able to integrate well into the culture, and develop relationships that can assist me in identifying the overall needs and specific needs or problems that could use attention in the community of our service.

Briefly identify two strategies for working effectively with host country partners to meet expressed needs.

By actively pursuing friendships and connections in the community, I plan to be able to more effectively see the expressed needs of the people, not as an outsider looking in, but instead through an integrated approach. Additionally, sacrificing of time, energy and efforts in selfless acts of servitude, while also being true to myself as an individual who is likewise growing and learning will be important to effectively work with host country partners to meet the expressed needs.

Your strategy for adapting to a new culture with respect to your own cultural background.

Adapting to a new culture holds all sorts of challenges, some of which may cause discord between previous cultural notions and new cultural notions. Being able to balance the two seems to be important in keeping harmony between who I am and what I have to offer and what I will learn and adopt for myself from this new culture. More specifically, I plan to always keep in mind that having an open-mind as well as being flexible make adapting to a new culture or even meeting a new individual much more pleasant. I also will embrace a deep respect that is both giving and receiving on both ends of what culture I am serving in and what culture I am from. An open-mind, cheerful demeanor, and a reverent regard for people will help keep a balance in the new culture.

The skills and knowledge you hope to gain during pre-service training to best serve your future community and project.

The skills and knowledge I hope to gain during pre-service training are somewhat elusive to me since I have never been to Africa and since it is difficult to grasp what the next two years of my life will look like in another country. First off, I am very excited to get to learn a new language and experience the customs of a new culture. Additionally, another one of the skills I am looking most forward to developing is being able to relate to others on a whole new level. Being able to experience friendships and connect with people who may know nothing of your culture seems it can only result in a deeper respect for people on a core level. Also, learning effective ways to organize and lead projects with members of vastly different backgrounds is a skill set I look forward to developing.  

How you think Peace Corps service will influence your personal and professional aspirations after your service ends.

The Peace Corps service will undoubtedly have an influence on my personal and professional aspirations after my service ends. How it will influence me is one of the mysteries that I thoroughly enjoy entertaining. I like to believe that when I return from service in the Peace Corps that I will continue to pursue philanthropic endeavors. Whether this is encompassing raising awareness of the lack of clean water to many individuals in the world, raising awareness about the environment and agriculture, or pursuing more education in the health field in order to heal and teach others how to take preventive measures into their own hands I still am unsure of at this point. However, I believe my service in the Peace Corps will give a more lucid awareness of the issues affecting our world and will provide me with more skills and life experiences. I hope that on a personal level I will develop my skills including learning to connect and relate to a variety of people, inspiring others to pursue their goals, and leading with confidence and ambition.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s