Chelsea Wolpert, 22, of Republic, has been accepted into the Peace Corps and departed for Peru Friday to begin training as a youth development volunteer, according to a Peace Corps press release.
Wolpert is to live and work in a community to help develop activities that promote self-esteem, career planning and healthy lifestyles.
"I have always been interested in other cultures, languages and the idea of helping people abroad, but the interest became deeper upon my experience at the University of Akron," Wolpert said. "I learned more about the Peace Corps through blogs and knew it was a good fit for me."
Wolpert is the daughter of Ronald and Rhonda Wolpert and sister of Robert Wolpert and a 2009 graduate of Seneca East High School. She graduated from the University of Akron with a bachelor's degree in Spanish and political science in 2013.
"Peace Corps was active at the University of Akron, appearing at career fairs and other events on campus," Wolpert said. "When I expressed an interest in the Peace Corps to my professors within the Spanish department, they were very supportive and encouraging."
Rhonda Wolpert wrote in an email Friday morning Chelsea had arrived safely in Peru.
During the first three months of her service in Peru, Wolpert will complete technical, language, health and safety training while living with a host family to become fully immersed in the country's language and culture. The training and cultural exchange prepare Wolpert for her two years of service, while also allowing community members to gain a better understanding of Americans.
After Wolpert is sworn into service and assigned to a community, she will work on sustainable, community-driven development projects that make a difference for the people of Peru and provide Wolpert with leadership and cross-cultural skills she can use throughout her career.
"I hope to one day work for the U.S. Department of State," she said. "I want to leave knowing that I made a long-lasting difference in my assigned placement."
Wolpert joined the 291 Ohio residents serving in the Peace Corps. More than 6,875 Ohio residents have served as volunteers since the agency was created in 1961.
More than 3,170 Peace Corps volunteers have served in Peru since the program was established in 1962. Currently, 271 volunteers serve in Peru. Volunteers work in the areas of youth development, small business development, health and environment. Volunteers are trained and work in Spanish, and some receive language training in Quechua.
Since President John F. Kennedy established the Peace Corps by executive order on March 1, 1961, more than 210,000 Americans have served in 139 host countries. Today, 8,073 volunteers are working with local communities in 76 host countries in agriculture, community economic development, education, environment, health and youth in development. Peace Corps volunteers must be U.S. citizens and at least 18 years of age. Peace Corps service is a 27-month commitment and the agency's mission is to promote world peace and friendship and a better understanding between Americans and people of other countries.
Visit www.peacecorps.gov for more information.