WASHINGTON, July 11, 2016 – Hampton University alumna Bettie Anderson, 73, of Chesapeake, Virginia has been accepted into the Peace Corps and will depart for Botswana on July 30, 2016 to begin training as a health volunteer. Anderson will live and work in a community to support efforts in providing health services to people living with HIV, the elderly, orphans and vulnerable children.
Though this will be her first time serving as a volunteer overseas, Anderson is intimately familiar with the Peace Corps’ mission. In 1963, while an undergraduate student at Hampton University, she was appointed to serve as the school’s Peace Corps recruiter.
“Becoming a part of Peace Corps was a desire that I had more than 50 years ago," said Anderson. "When my family obligations ended, I knew that it was now time to apply. My vision is to be of service to others and build positive relationships that will promote the best of America.”
Anderson is the mother of Elimu Anderson who resides in San Diego, California, and grandmother of Brevin, 9, and Maleah, 7, who reside in New Jersey.
Bettie attended Eastside High School in Paterson, New Jersey. She went on to attend Hampton University in Hampton, Virginia, where she served as editor-in-chief of the university newspaper, the Hampton Script, and earned a B.A. in sociology in 1964. In 1970, Anderson earned an M.A. in Student Personnel Services from Montclair State University in Montclair, New Jersey. Prior to joining the Peace Corps, she served as President of the Board of Directors at the Greater Paterson Opportunities Industrialization Center, President of the Paterson YWCA, and Secretary of the Board of Directors at the Association for Equality and Excellence in Education in New York, New York.
During the first three months of her Peace Corps service, Anderson will live with a host family in Botswana to become fully immersed in the country’s language and culture. After acquiring the necessary skills to assist her community, Anderson will be sworn into service and assigned to a community in Botswana, where she will live and work for two years with the local people.
“My major goal is to be of assistance in helping people combat a major disease. I also hope to be an effective communicator at home to encourage others to become more active in their own communitites or help others in other countries," said Anderson.
Anderson says she most looks forward to “meeting new people, learning a new language, being of assistance and learning more about a different culture” during her upcoming Peace Corps service.
She will work in cooperation with the local people and partner organizations on sustainable, community-based development projects that improve the lives of people in Botswana and help Anderson develop leadership, technical and cross-cultural skills that will give her a competitive edge when she returns home. Peace Corps volunteers return from service as global citizens well-positioned for professional opportunities in today’s global job market.
Anderson joins 2 other Hampton University alumni currently serving overseas in the Peace Corps and 76 Hampton University alumni who have served in the Peace Corps since 1961.
There has never been a better time to apply to Peace Corps, and reforms have made the process simpler, faster, and more personalized than ever before. In 2014, applications reached a 22-year high for the agency, with more than 17,000 Americans taking the first step toward international service. Through a one-hour online application, applicants can now choose the countries and programs they’d like to be considered for. Browse available volunteer positions at www.peacecorps.gov/openings.
About Peace Corps/Botswana: There are 175 Volunteers in Botswana working with their communities on projects in community economic development, health, and youth development. During their service in Botswana, Volunteers learn to speak local languages, including Setswana. More than 2,530 Peace Corps Volunteers have served in Botswana since the program was established in 1966.
About the Peace Corps: The Peace Corps sends the best and brightest Americans abroad on behalf of the United States to address the most pressing needs of people around the world. Volunteers work with their community members at the grassroots level to develop sustainable solutions to challenges in education, health, economic development, agriculture, environment and youth development. Through their service, volunteers gain a unique cultural understanding and a life-long commitment to service that positions them to succeed in today’s global economy. Since President John F. Kennedy established the Peace Corps in 1961, more than 220,000 Americans of all ages have served in 141 countries worldwide. For more information, visitwww.peacecorps.gov and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.