Master’s International student Courtney Johnson just arrived in Mozambique to begin training as a secondary education English teacher with Peace Corps.
Johnson will live in the community and teach local high school students English. She will also be an active participant in the Let Girls Learn initiative, a partnership between first lady Michelle Obama and Peace Corps that strives to break barriers that prevent young girls around the world from accessing education.
“Since I enjoy cultural immersion and helping people, Peace Corps has always seemed like a good fit for me,” said Johnson. “I hope to gain experience and new friends.”
Johnson graduated from the Ohio State University in 2012 with a bachelor’s degree in political science and a minor in Spanish. She is participating in the Peace Corps Master’s International program through Illinois State University’s Stevenson Center for Community and Economic Development, which allows students to earn their master’s degree while simultaneously serving in the Peace Corps. Johnson is pursuing her master’s degree in political science with an emphasis on applied community and economic development.
“Master’s International gives me the chance to study community development from an academic perspective before diving right into the real thing,” Johnson said. “The program also connected me with several returned Peace Corps volunteers and university staff who are supporting me stateside. I hope that a master’s degree and work experience in community development will open up doors for a meaningful career. “
During the first three months of her service, Johnson will live with a host family in Mozambique to learn the local language and integrate into the culture. After acquiring the language and cultural skills that will help her make a lasting difference, Johnson will be sworn into service and assigned to a community in Mozambique where she will serve for two years.
Johnson will work in cooperation with the local people and partner organizations on sustainable, community-based development projects that improve the lives of people in Mozambique and help Johnson develop leadership, technical, and cross-cultural skills that will give her a competitive edge when she returns home. Peace Corps volunteers return from service as global citizens well-positioned for professional opportunities in today’s global job market.
“Community service has always been a passion,” Johnson said. “Any job that wants me to build connections and help people is a good job for me. I love the idea of immersion into another way of life.”
Content from Peace Corps Midwest Regional Office