Derailed Like a Mofo

Let me clip some of my conversation with my Placement Officer (first contact in 10 months, yay!) into this blog. Name omitted, of course.:

At this time, while we appreciate your sincere motivation,  in order for you to be a competitive candidate for an appropriate placement, I’d like to request that you gain more specific experience. Based on your file, I think you will make a valuable Volunteer, and since you do not graduate until May, you have from now and through the summer at least, to become more involved with your community. This extra time and experience can only benefit potential service.

To align with your interests, I would suggest getting experience with Youth and Community Development and or Agriculture. I believe gaining Agricultural experience could serve you well specifically for a Fall placement; I will detail some examples below.

For Youth and Community Development, you should aim for at least 3 months or 30 hours of experience to be qualified, and more to be competitive. Here are some examples of what types of experience you can gain:

  • Working with groups like Big Brothers Big Sisters as a mentor or tutor.
  • Outreach programs for HIV/AIDS counseling, and awareness; gaining CPR certification.
  • Working in a summer camp providing leadership and organizational planning skills.

And then this gem:

Because Peace Corps does not have a deferral option we will have to withdraw your file, because applicants working to gain skills can’t simply sit in our office waiting ‘on our books’. This is not a dire option, it is a way of preserving your application as is, for up to a year. You can ‘reactivate’ your application when you are more competitive; once you have gained the skills you will be pursuing.

I believe this is the best way for you to eventually move forward within the Placement process. Below are the instructions for withdrawal and reactivation. I hope this helps you to understand how the process works, and how you can become a more competitive applicant.

So remember how I thought that maybe the Peace Corps didn’t want me? Or forgot about me? Well, judging that less than 24 hours after I placed a phone call yesterday I got this email, which pretty much said that they didn’t want me (yet), I’m guessing I was right. I have officially been withdrawn as an applicant (not at my request) until I get more experience. This seems like something they could have told me a while back, but, what can you do? I suppose I’ll just try to keep my head up and volunteer some more. Life long dreams can happen at any point in life, right?

In summary…

Now I:

Don’t know where I’m going
Don’t know when I’m leaving
Don’t know what I’ll be doing there.
Don’t know when my application with be reinstated
Don’t know if my application will be reinstated

It can only get better from here, right?

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5 thoughts on “Derailed Like a Mofo

  1. Don’t worry. Take your time and if PC is meant to be for you, it will happen! It can only help to gain experience like that. Every job you apply for anywhere wants you to have volunteering experience. CPR certification is an easy and so is Big Brothers/Big Sisters. One of my friends is a Big Sister and she LOVES it.
    Peace Corps is a worthy goal, but it doesn’t have to be the be-all, end-all. There is something out there that is for you. You will find it, don’t worry.
    I know that this probably isn’t as nice to hear from someone already invited, but I’ve had your blog in my favorites because I like your writing style.
    I hope you find your place, Peace Corps or not.

  2. I will start by echoing Caitlin’s comments, because not much more can be said.
    Still, there is something unexplainable/inconsistent about the whole PC application process. They tell you to get three months or 30 hours of experience to be qualified for a Youth and Community Development placement. I have more than 30 years of full-time employment (post graduate school) experiences in youth, family, health and non-profit services and yet it took me twelve (12) months from when I submitted my application until I received an invitation and I am still not scheduled to depart for another 5 months. I can’t figure that out, and it just doesn’t matter.
    Keep moving ahead, get experience in whatever your passion drives you to do and if you still want to serve in the Peace Corps, you will get there. If not, you will be where you want to be.

  3. Georgia, I’m so sorry! I know it’s not the same situation, but I can completely understand the feeling of having your life-plan rug pulled out from underneath you and it’s not a good feeling. As much as this sucks, I know that you’re an incredible person with lots of amazing skills. I know you’ll find something meaningful to do that will wow the pants off of the Peace Corps when its time for you to re-activate! If you need some ideas about Agriculture-related opportunities I may have some ideas.
    Good luck!!!

  4. I told my friend Mike, Col. USMC Ret., about you before I read your most recent post and here is his comment. He has done 3 tours since the Gulf War and knows the territory.

    Very cool about Georgia! However, I know with some certainty that the countries on the “French List” are not popular tourist destinations. Be prepared to ship her care packages…of toilet paper and other niceties…

    I recommend that she transfer to AmeriCorps Montana and help dig us out of the 19th Century.

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