Years in Peace Corps: 2017-19
Region/City: Kavango West
Eunice Lee ’17 had never traveled abroad until she joined the Peace Corps. At UCLA, Lee was involved with the Alumni Scholars Club, Alumni Mentor Program and the Achievement Scholars Club and believes that taking on leadership roles as a student helped her become a more proactive individual. She first learned about the Peace Corps as an intern at the Department of Commerce in Washington, D.C., and decided to apply that year. Lee says, “I was filled with a longing to explore the world and contribute to positive impact projects in any way I could.”
Driven in search of friendship and adventure, Lee was soon teaching for the first time to a classroom of over 50 students, managing more than 100 learners and facilitating a literacy club, in Kavango West, Namibia, a region in southern Africa. “During my first few months of service, I found myself adjusting well,” says Lee who shared a living space with her host sister, Maria, a teacher at the same school. “Maria was a tremendous help with my integration into the community. We often shared meals, stories and many laughs together.” One aspect of the Namibian culture Lee found inspiring was their commitment to family, community and welcoming energy. “Everyone helps each other and cares for one another. It’s really touching to see that bond.”
Lee, who enjoys scrapbooking and journaling, found that kindness, humility and curiosity went a long way in making connections, and says “UCLA provided me with the necessary tools to further my skills in adaptability and flexibility.” She is currently teaching English online to youth in Beijing, and recently completed her TEFL training at the Benedict School in St. Petersburg, Russia, with plans to relocate to Washington, D.C.