Jessica Sidhu, 22, of Chester, New Jersey, has been accepted into the Peace Corps and departed for Fiji in August to begin training as a Community Youth Empowerment Volunteer.
“I have always been passionate about doing my part to help others around me. I believe internationally and domestically there are so many positive benefits of youth development programming to help prevent negative outcomes when facing adverse life situations. I believe in the Peace Corps’ long-term relationship based grassroots approach to sharing resources with individuals elsewhere. I love meeting people of different cultures, am passionate about youth development, and enjoy traveling so this job is perfect for me!” said Sidhu of her desire to join the Peace Corps.
Sidhu is the daughter of Nancy and Paul Sidhu of Chester and a graduate of West Morris Mendham High School in Mendham, New Jersey. She attended the University of Maryland College Park in College Park, Maryland, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology in 2018. Prior to joining the Peace Corps, she worked as a Child Behavioral Specialist for the YMCA in Montgomery County, Maryland, and interned at Peace Corps Headquarters.
During the first three months of her service, Sidhu will live with a host family in Fiji to become fully immersed in the country’s language and culture. After acquiring the necessary skills to assist her community, Sidhu will be sworn into service and assigned to a community in Fiji, where she will live and work for two years with the local people.
“I hope to continue my path of working with children to help inspire them to find their skills and positive abilities. I am excited to create youth development programming to help aid the educational and personal development of the students I work with in Fiji,” Sidhu said.
Sidhu will work in cooperation with the local people and partner organizations on sustainable, community-based development projects that improve the lives of people in Fiji and help Sidhu 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.
Sidhu joins the 165 New Jersey residents currently serving in the Peace Corps and more than 5,400 New Jersey residents who have served in the Peace Corps since 1961. The Peace Corps currently has a high need for applicants to fill volunteer programs departing by June 2020. Interested Americans can apply online by October 1 for hundreds of available openings in nearly 30 countries worldwide. Volunteers receive a living stipend, extensive language and technical training, and financial benefits including student loan deferment and graduate school fellowships after service. To learn more about how to get involved with Peace Corps and the benefits of service, connect with a recruiter online or register to attend an event.