Elon University students prepare to serve in Peace Corps

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When students graduate from college, finding a job is their first challenge. But for three Elon University graduates, their challenge involves feeding a village.

"To my understanding of Guatemalan culture, there isn’t a lot of food diversity or access to different kinds of foods,” said Elaina Vermeulen, an Elon student who will serve with the Peace Corps after Saturday's graduation.

Vermeulen said her Peace Corps Prep Program classes will help her teach food sustainability.

"I don’t know what their organic principles are like in terms of gardening sustainability, so I would like to implement some kind of program that would be incredible and within my wheelhouse as a result of the Peace Corps program,” she said.

Elon's Peace Corps Prep Program emphasizes environmental and food sustainability.

The planting techniques Emily Mount has learned will help her assist the people of Fiji.

"One of the things I am really excited about is teaching kids how to use a garden because I have done all of this at Loy Farm for four years," she said. "Using that knowledge and bringing it and tailoring it to towards community development is really exciting.”

Elon Peace Corps Prep Program Director Steve Moore says the four-year course doesn't guarantee students an assignment with the Peace Corps. Instead, it gives students the tools to be successful Peace Corps candidates.

"You can’t go some place on the planet and do something constructive without a set of skills and this program helps provide some of those skill sets.”

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