This past spring, ASU student, sophomore, Clarice Bayne packed her bags, hopped on a plane (for the first time in her life) and traveled from Seattle to the Dominican Republic for “Taste of the Peace Corps.” Her life hasn’t been the same since.
Clarice has always juggled a lot; multiple jobs, living independently and going to school when she could. She started at ASU Online through the Starbucks College Achievement Plan, and fell in love with the university. She was impressed with the engaging environment, flexible learning, and her ability to manage the coursework on top of three jobs. She has always been passionate about the environment and reducing her impact, and is now working towards making her passion a career through her major, a Bachelor’s of Arts in Sustainability.
When Clarice saw a My ASU ad pop up for Taste of Peace Corps, a nine-day alternative Spring Break Study Abroad, she knew absolutely nothing about what the Peace Corps did or stood for, but she decided to learn more. She was drawn to the program in the Dominican Republic because it focused on building sustainable infrastructure in a developing country and lasted a little over a week. She signed up immediately and worked tirelessly to save over the next six months, even creating a GoFundMe account where she offered her own paintings and postcards from her travels in exchange for donations.
Leading up to her departure Clarice was nervous. She boarded a plane to travel alone for the first time to a country that she’d never visited to work with a group of people she’d never met. But shortly after arriving she easily found a group of 22 additional ASU students and instructors to help make her feel at home.
For the next week the group worked on many different projects focused on improving the community. They would start around 7AM and each day was slightly different. With the help of community members, they built houses and schools with recycled materials, constructed vertical gardens, completed community assessments, lead different projects and activities with students at local schools, and attended lectures to learn more about their impact and responsible international development.