An 'older,' wiser volunteer fulfills a dream
“I remember watching JFK talk about the Peace Corps on my family’s little black-and-white TV,” says Robert Ranger (’87, Fairhaven Interdisciplinary Concentration). “I knew it was something I wanted to do after hearing JFK speak.”
Ranger finally fulfilled that dream at the age of 61, when he spent two years in Botswana as a Peace Corps Volunteer working on HIV/AIDS prevention in 2007 to 2009.
“PC is heavily recruiting older folks like me these days,” he says. “When PC began they did many projects in countries that involved putting in schools or water lines or physical work around infrastructure. Today’s issues in these countries are much more complicated and, to my way of thinking, need and can use the skills of us older folks.”
Ranger found his professional experience as a mental-health counselor gave him an advantage.
“Helping change people’s dangerous behaviors is a complicated process,” he says. “It is clear to me my skill set crossed cultural differences and brought insight and change into their lives that maybe a younger person couldn't bring.”