CHICAGO – Kayla Mitchell, 26, of Wellington, has been accepted into the Peace Corps and departed for Uganda on Nov. 1 to begin training as an English literacy teacher volunteer.
“Being home-schooled most of my school years, my mother has instilled in me the love of the international field through cultural events, music, games, movies, and books. She made the effort in providing an opportunity for me to participate in World Wise Schools through Peace Corps when I was just in elementary school,” said Mitchell.
“I was then introduced to Jennifer Farwell, who at the time was serving in Niger, Africa. We conversed during her two years of service and even some time after. She took the time to tell me about all of her experiences and even sent me handmade items from her village. Ever since I had this opportunity, it has influenced me to serve in the Peace Corps,” said Mitchell of her desire to join the Peace Corps.
Mitchell is a graduate of Brownwood Education in Wellington. She attended Morehead State University, where she earned a bachelor’s in international studies.
“Personally, I know I will feel complete knowing I have helped a community in little ways by helping children with English literacy. I will be ecstatic to gain first-hand knowledge of a community far different than my own and to become part of local families. I love the fact that each day will be a challenge and I am given the opportunity to grow from these challenges as a person,” said Mitchell. “Professionally, I know that serving in Uganda will deepen my love even further of humanitarian work and teaching English as a second language. Peace Corps will provide the stepping stones for me to do exactly what I want to do once service is complete. I will continue in the humanitarian field through helping those around the world. I look forward to each negative and positive experience I may encounter and turning each one into a lesson that I can apply to my future career path,” she added.
During the first three months of her service, Mitchell will live with a host family in Uganda to become fully immersed in the country’s language and culture. After acquiring the necessary skills to assist her community, Mitchell will be sworn into service and assigned to a community in Uganda, where she will live and work for two years with the local people.
“I am most excited about integrating into a community I will be helping for the two years of my service and hearing their stories and becoming part of their everyday lives,” said Mitchell.
Mitchell will work in cooperation with the local people and partner organizations on sustainable, community-based development projects that improve the lives of people in Uganda and help Mitchell develop leadership, technical and cross-cultural skills that will give her a competitive edge when she returns home. Peace Corps volunteers return from service as global citizens well-positioned for professional opportunities in today’s global job market.
Before her departure, Mitchell continued to thank those whom have helped her on her journey to Peace Corps service.
“I would like to thank my grandmother and my late grandfather for always supporting me throughout my homeschooling years. I love you, Grandmal. Also, my mother for always believing in my endeavors and pushing me to always rise above and strive to do better day after day. I love you, mom. I would like to thank my father for helping me through my traveling adventures. I love you, dad,” said Mitchell. “And finally, to my two brothers at home. I will see you online as you hit your milestones. I love you, both. Thank you Grandpa and Grandma B in Ohio for always sending cultural gifts when I was young, I think it began with the hieroglyphics book and the UNICEF children's puzzle, love you both,” said Mitchell.
Mitchell joins the 69 Kentucky residents currently serving in the Peace Corps and more than 1,704 residents have served in the Peace Corps since 1961.