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Peace Corps Volunteer, Colombia

After graduated from Tulane, Allison spent another year in New Orleans working as an Americorps*VISTA volunteer through the Tulane Center for Public Service. During that time, she also continued her work with Catholic Charities, teaching ESL in the evenings in Newcomb Hall. The following year, Allison returned to her home town of Tulsa, Oklahoma, where she worked as a biligual social worker for the families of children in the Head Start program. Finally, she heard Latin America calling her name, leading her to volunteer for the Peace Corps in coastal Colombia. There, she is working on the Teaching English for Livelihoods project. She is assisting a public school in improving the quality of its English instruction methods in addition to taking on a variety of side projects.

Allison discusses her experience at Tulane…

Why did you choose Latin American Studies?
Having attended a bilingual elementary school with teachers from all over Latin America, I have been interested in the region since I can remember. After a couple of trips to Mexico in high school made Latin America feel like home, the choice for my major seemed obvious.

How has your background in LAST helped you since graduation?
I have learned so much about Latin American cultures by living in and visiting the countries within the region, but because I studied Latin America in an academic setting, I am able to better understand the story behind cultural practices and the socio-political histories that make life the way it is today. I am able to better understand my current home and better relate to my community.

Any words of wisdom for LAST undergraduates?
My words of wisdom to current LAST undergraduates: study abroad and work hard at the language aspect so you can truly understand and communicate, take advantage of the ability to take classes from different disciplines, and help out your TULASO officers by offering to become a Responsible Host at Pachangas :-).

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