Where Are They Now? – Meet 2004 Prairie Grad Jessi Carver

Name: Jessi Carver

What year did you graduate Prairie High School?
2004

What is your current position?
Peace Corps Volunteer Leader

Where is your place of employment?
Accra, Ghana (West Africa)

What are your job responsibilities?
Supporting Peace Corps Volunteers through connecting them to resources and people who can assist with a successful term of service. Working with Peace Corps Ghana staff on training incoming volunteers to prepare them for service, including technical and cultural information. Managing the volunteer housing at the Accra Office for volunteers who stay for a short time while on leave from their communities of service. Before becoming a volunteer leader I lived for two years in a rural community in northern Ghana. There I worked with community leaders to promote improved sanitation access and helped to organize a project that concluded with more than 100 households building latrines for their families.

Describe your career/educational path since graduating from Prairie High School.
I studied Religion and Camping Ministry at Wartburg College and graduated in 2008. After graduating I served for one year in Raleigh, North Carolina with Habitat for Humanity of Wake County as an AmeriCorps construction crew member. The following year I moved to Sacramento, California to serve as a Team Leader for the AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps (NCCC) for one year in the Pacific Region.

Before joining the Peace Corps I was working with Gretna Glen Camp & Retreat Center in Lebanon, Pennsylvania as the Program Manager. I was there for 4 years planning, facilitating and managing programming for children, youth and adults. I loved my job at Gretna Glen, especially running the summer camp programs, but decided the Peace Corps was calling me to new experiences.

I joined the Peace Corps in Ghana in 2015 for two years of service and when the two years ended I decided to extend for a third year. I’ll be completing my Peace Corps service in May 2018 and am excited to return to the US and whatever the next steps bring.

What advice would you give to today’s high school graduates? 
1.  Be brave. The most challenging things are what teach us the most in life. Don’t be afraid to do the thing that will challenge you the most. You will have good days and difficult days no matter how much you love or dislike your job. Don’t let the fear of the difficult days stop you from being where you should be. You can do difficult things.

2.  Find ways to be in service to others, no matter where you are in life. When you put the needs of another person before your own you can glimpse life through their eyes and we all grow closer as a community.

3.  Don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it.