Mercer brother accepted into Peace Corps
By Katie Atkinson, Staff Writer
The Mercer Cluster
Life is about to change for two seniors who were recently accepted into the Peace Corps. In May, Caleb Barefield and Heaven Woods will walk across the graduation stage and onto their next destination: Africa.
For 27 months, Woods will be located in Cameroon while Barefield will be in Swaziland. Although it isn’t the first voyage away from the States for either of them, both seniors are anticipating that their involvement with the Peace Corps will make for a very different experience abroad.
Barefield, who will be placed in the Youth Development sector in Swaziland, will help promote HIV awareness. Barefield has been a part of two Mercer on Mission trips to Greece, but said that his involvement with the Peace Corps will go deeper.
“[Visiting Greece] was more of a surface level kind of thing. I got to see the culture and interact with it, but with the Peace Corps, you integrate fully into the community,” Barefield said. “That’s what I’m most excited about. ”
Barefield said he is looking forward to experiencing life through a different lens while in Africa.
“As a middle class white male growing up in America, I have never been a minority,” said Barefield. “Moving to Africa for two years will be my first time experiencing what it’s like to be a minority and experiencing a different culture.”
Though both Barefield and Woods said the application process was lengthy and stressful, neither of them think that should deter students who are looking to apply.
“Don’t be afraid to take that leap of faith,” Barefield said. “I think being able to experience cultures outside of the U.S. and outside of your comfort zone is how you figure out who you are as a human being and who you are as a person and what you want to be for society.” (Via The Mercer Cluster)