“Our answer to the world’s hope is to rely on youth … not a time of life, but a state of mind, a temper of will, a quality of imagination, a predominance of courage over timidity, of the appetite for adventure over a life of ease.” –Robert F. Kennedy, South Africa, 1966
Sanibonani! Liz Warden here.
As far back as elementary school, I decided that I wanted to be a journalist. Meeting all different kinds of people, always on-the-go, not staying in one place for too long, working with people with a similar – dry – sense of humor and writing for a living – what could be better? You also can’t forget that journalism, historically, has been a “public service” profession: Exposing injustices to the greater public, being a “watchdog,” holding politicians and others accountable for their words are just a few ideas that intrigued me about the profession.
But most of all what inspired me to go to j-school at the University of Southern California was that someday I could draw attention to social issues – especially those underrepresented in the U.S. and internationally – through my reporting.
And sure, I could do that. But the real question was: Does drawing attention to social issues actually motivate the readers to take action and do something about them? Maybe, maybe not.
That’s why I was eager to put my reporter’s notebook on my bookshelf for good, ditch objectivity and actually fight social issues I had reported on previously or learned about.
So, I decided to volunteer.
This blog follows my journey serving in the U.S. with AmeriCorps for a year and for 27 months abroad with the Peace Corps.
From 2012-2014, I served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in South Africa. I was a grade 5 English teacher and librarian in South Africa as part of the Schools and Community Resource Project
I serve because I believe one person can have an impact on this world, even if it means just making a difference in one other person’s life. I serve to better understand humanity and the world we live in. I serve because I believe that the right to an equal education is the civil rights issue of my generation.