Lily Gibbons ’14 has been accepted into the Peace Corps and departs for Cambodia next week to begin training as an education volunteer.
“My anthropology and psychology studies strongly motivated me to join the Peace Corps,” Lily said. “Immersing yourself in an unfamiliar culture and gaining a community's trust through respect and open-mindedness is awe-inspiring. Since I was young, I've been involved in different kinds of community service. I believe the Peace Corps is the vehicle to fulfill my mission to improve access to education and inspire students’ desire to learn.”
After graduating from Bishop’s, Lily matriculated at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., earning a B.A. in anthropology and psychology. Prior to joining the Peace Corps, she was involved with a variety of volunteer activities. At Bishop’s, she co-founded the Arts Cultural Exchange Sale, a School event to benefit the Myanmar Karen Refugee Cultural Exchange Program. In college, she volunteered with the tutoring projects DC Reads and the DC Schools Project. She also interned with the International Rescue Committee and Lubuto Library Partners.
During the first three months of her service, Lily will live with a host family in Cambodia to become fully immersed in the country’s language (Khmer) and culture. After acquiring the necessary skills to assist her community, she will be sworn into service and assigned to a community in Cambodia, to live and work for two years with the local people.
“Through my Peace Corps service, I hope to grow into a more open-minded and resilient individual,” she said. “This opportunity will allow me to build bridges between cultures. I am most excited about learning Khmer. Although learning a new language is certainly challenging, it will be deeply rewarding to interact with my community and gain their trust.”
According to Peace Corps spokesperson Carla Koop, “Volunteers return from service as global citizens well-positioned for professional opportunities in today’s global job market.”
Lily joins the 873 California residents currently serving in the Peace Corps and more than 30,887 California residents who have served in the Peace Corps since President John F. Kennedy established it 1961. Since then, more than 230,000 Americans have served in 141 countries worldwide. There are more than 125 volunteers in Cambodia working with their communities on projects in education and health. More than 580 Peace Corps volunteers have served in Cambodia since the program was established in 2007.