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 I have officially been withdrawn as an applicant (not at my request) until I get more experience.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?
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?