Julia Ilsley


My purpose is is to discover purpose. I hope to obtain this through the Peace Corps.


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James Brown

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New Technology High School


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Interview and What I Learned

The Interview:

Dear Ms.Wade,

I'm not sure if you remember me, but I am Ginnette Ilsley's daughter and Lorrie Ilsley's niece, Julia. I am currently working on a school project called Roadtrip Nation which involves discovering the direction you wish for your life to go in. I am hoping to join the Peace Corps one day, and I know that you are currently serving in Nicaragua.

One of the requirements of the project is to have an interview with an expert in the field you wish to work in. If it isn't too much trouble, I was wondering if you could very briefly (only a few sentences) answer the following questions:

1. Have you always known that you wanted to join the Peace Corps.?

2. How has your experience been thus far? What have you learned?

3. What is the hardest part of this experience?

4. How do you recommend a person prepare themselves for joining the Peace Corps?

5. What is one way you have changed through this process?

I understand completely if you do not have the time to complete this. I know you must be very busy! I hope you are having a wonderful experience.

Thank you,

Hi Julia,
Of course I remember you and your family. I am more than happy to answer your questions and am pleased to find that we have similar goals in common.

1.) I have known that I wanted to join the Peace Corps ever since I was in colllege in Santa Barbara. It has taken me a long time to fulfill this goal because that was 20 years ago! I never questioned that I would do it, it was just a matter of when. Bills to pay, teaching credential, more bills...You get the idea.

2.) Joining the Peace Corps has been an amazing experience. The training was thorough and very exciting. There are different areas to work in ; Teaching English, Agriculture, Small Business, Health , and Environmental Science. My sector is Environmental Science and I have learned how to create organic gardens, make organic pesticides, make tree nurseries, prepare seeds, make hand crafts from garbage, start clean up brigades, community projects, how to teach science in Spanish, give informational talks to teens about safe and healthy life choices... I have friends that are making outhouses, mud brick ovens and stoves that burn less wood in order to conserve trees. I have not done this but hope to before I go.

3.) The hardest part has been leaving family and friends for 27 months. I am in a community that has cell phone service and internet places so I feel very connected, but that may not be the case for everyone.

4.) I think the best way to prepare yourself is to begin volunteer work and to think about what countries you would like to go to and why. The interview process helps them to guide your placement and they do want you to go where you will be most happy. It is best to begin studying the language of that country. There is a 3 month language and work training in the country of your service, but trust me, you want to be prepared because you will be living with a family and you will want to feel comfortable.
5.) I think about this a lot and wonder if I will know more once I am back home. I think for sure that I now have a profound appreciation for how comfortable my life was and will be in the states. I think that I have a greater understanding of what is means to be truly impoverished and how that can effect every aspect of your life, especially health and education.

I think I will never complain again now that I know that running water and electricity are considered luxuries to many people in the world and I never though twice about what they meant to me.

I hope this was helpful to your project and I truly hope that you follow your heart and dreams by choosing to join the Peace Corps after college. Apart from the work, I have met many wonderful people from all over Nicaragua and the United States. I have loved living in another culture and learning a new language. It is great to have on your resume and really sets you apart when going into graduate school or job searching.

I wish you the best and please tell your family hello for me. I miss my Vichy friends.


From this interview, I learned to serve my community of Napa before I broaden my service. I need to keep learning and growing and maturing in order to achieve my goal of being a Volunteer.

Written on May 31, 2012 at 12:47am

Blog Archives:

Interview and What I Learned
May 31, 2012 at 12:47am

The Troubles
May 31, 2012 at 12:30am

Exited for Answers!
May 31, 2012 at 12:16am

Cold Called Message
May 16, 2012 at 2:39pm

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