Sunday, March 20, 2016

PCV Profile: Nick

Nick hanging out with his youngest host brother Thabiso.
Within my training group, there are only fifteen of us spread throughout seven of Lesotho's ten districts. Only one person in the group lives within a few hours of me: Nick. As a result, he has become my closest PCV pal-both geographically and in actuality. Consequently, I have been to multiple special events at LASTC, his workplace, including graduation and a cultural day.

Although the youngest in our training group, Nick is possibly the most ambitious. With only four of our twenty-seven months remaining, Nick already knows his path for the next 7 to 10 years. In the fall, he will begin graduate school to earn a Masters of Public Health at one of the many schools smart enough to accept him (his acceptance rate is currently 100%!). Focusing on global health will help him prepare for medical school and a career as a traveling physician-think Doctors Without Borders.

Nick's background makes him a perfect match for a health-related role in Peace Corps Lesotho, yet, his assignment is predominately youth development. Despite studying neuroscience as an undergrad and holding his CNA license, in Lesotho, Nick has lived the life of an educator. He works for a tertiary school offering two-year certificates in agriculture and business. His work at the Agric Skills Training Center consists predominantly of teaching life skills, communication, and computers. While these subjects do not appear to be a perfect match for him, Nick has adapted his other experiences well to his current role as a PCV.

Nick with colleagues at the LASTC Cultural Day.
He uses his experiences as a founding member of his university's Toastmasters Club to enhance his public speaking classes. His passion for computers and technology have provided fodder for his computer classes and for helping the school staff improve grading programs and more. Life Skills classes have provided the most opportunities for his interest in health as it is impossible to teach life skills in Lesotho without discussing sexual and reproductive health and HIV/AIDS.

Aside from his primary assignment, which takes up a large amount of time, Nick regularly participates in Peace Corps activities. He has spent our entire service as the PC security representative for his district, which includes weekly communication between PCVs and the Peace Corps office. He is on the Information, Communication, and Technology committee, which he co-chaired last year. He also helped significantly with my Camp GLOW last year.

Luckily for the school, one of Nick's greatest flaws is also a huge asset: generosity. As the school has not computers for his computer class, Nick has spent the last two years teaching dozens of students using only his tiny, "ancient" personal laptop. This will hopefully change before he finishes his work in Lesotho as Nick and his school have recently been approved for a Peace Corps Partnership Program grant to build a computer lab with ten desktops.

As Nick prepares to head off to the University of Arizona for graduate school, it will be fun to watch his ambitions become realities.
Kathy and Nick are wild animals in the roadway after
hiking at Tsehlanyane National Park.

1 comment:

Stephanie said...

The Nickster! Silly, fun, intelligent, kind & caring. And! In his spare time he also managed to procure a US Embassy grant (the only PCV out of many who applied) to fund a chicken coop for his school. Imagine how he will apply a MPH to international health! Great profile Beth!