I post this with hesitance because I looked up other aspiration statements when I was told to write my own and felt that I couldn’t get away with what I thought it SHOULD look like. I eventually got past it and wrote it with heart, despite it not fitting the mold of some that I read. My advice: You signed up for this because you had some kind of passion or heart behind it…now just use it!! Seriously, I think the more of yourself that you give these people, the better your experience will be.

Here is what I wrote in my Aspiration Statement (it’s hard to conceive but the original was much longer so I edited a bit for this entry).

Aspirations:
I aspire to be remembered as someone who made a difference in a child’s life. I think everyone has that one teacher that really made an impact on his or her students and I’d like to be that sort of role model for the students that I am helping out. I also aspire to be an understanding and eager colleague for those that I work with.

Expectations:

I know to expect the worst and hope for the best! This means that I expect things to get hard but my goal is to stay positive and know that this is what I signed up for and hard work is usually always extremely rewarding in the end. I expect for things to be frustrating when I’m in a different climate, eating different food and being around people who speak another language that I’m still learning. I expect to sometimes feel that nothing is going right and that I’m not making enough progress. This challenging experience is a part of why I signed up for the Peace Corps. I know what I’m capable of and I want to push that limit. I feel that I was limited at home with how little Americans sometimes know about the world and how having a direct positive impact is difficult from the states but I can make a difference immediately if I want to.

Desired Outcomes:

I want to absorb as much culture as possible and truly use the opportunity to become a part of an entirely different culture than I’ve ever experienced. I’ve started to think about ways that I can do this. For example, I can learn a skill or craft that is popular among Kazakhs. Although the language barrier may be hard to overcome initially, there are still other ways to communicate with people and show who you are. I think taking up an interest that is shared among those around me would help build relationships and make learning a language much easier.

I’ve always envisioned the Peace Corps as a life determining experience. I will wholeheartedly accept a change in career plans if the Peace Corps leads me in a direction I never could have imagined before my arrival in Kazakhstan. I hope that my Peace Corps experience will always be a part of me. To ensure this, I hope to find at least one project that I can continue to work on after my service whether it’s simply keeping in touch with people from Kazakhstan, raising funds for a project for the next volunteer or whatever other opportunity arises to make this experience one that I can stay engaged with for years after my service so I will not lose touch with the lessons learned while abroad. Many volunteers say that it takes several months to a year to actually start being effective in Peace Corps service because the first year is learning the language and building relationships in the community you live in. I’d like to extend this experience by making sure I continue to serve the country in any way, big or small, that I can.

Professionally, I hope the Peace Corps leads me to a career that is more than just another paycheck but something I really am passionate about working for.

Socially, I’d like to share my cultural experiences with other Americans as well as be a good representation of the United States during my service. I also hope that the Peace Corps gives me the taste of the world that I’m looking for. I signed up for the Peace Corps because I wanted to be around people that are worse off financially than Americans are even in a recession but are still happy with their lives. I want to struggle with the people around me and realize my struggles of being uncomfortable, adjusting to new food, learning a new language are much less of a struggle than the people who do not have access to the bounty of resources I have at home.

I’ll remember the experience that I dreamed of that involved experiencing the world through more than just a news story or a textbook but by touching a new ground, tearing down cultural barriers that Americans sometimes build around them and hugging a person on the other side of the world and telling them I’m listening to them and have left the country of comfort to serve them and create a connection from a girl who turned the television off and dove into cultural realities experienced by few others that dare not get off of their couch, their comfort zones, to experience a different part of the world.

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