A Visit from Peace Corps Volunteer Tommy Jorgensen ’09

by Erika Figuereo
Today the entire Upper School gathered for a special visit from Old Boy Tommy Jorgensen, class of 2009, to hear about his experience serving as a Peace Corps volunteer for two years.

After two rejections from the Peace Corps, Tommy finally got accepted to the program in 2017 and travelled to the country of Guinea alongside forty volunteers.  During his first two months in Guinea, he lived with a host family while he learned the societal norms of Guinea (for example-- picking up a phone call in the middle of a business meeting is acceptable).  Tommy also had some language training where he worked on his French and was exposed to the local language. After training, he and the other volunteers took part in a swearing ceremony where they took an oath and pledged to become Peace Corps volunteers.  As an official Peace Corps member, Tommy became involved with a local healthcare center.  He created a patient filing system, trained workers on how to use Microsoft Office on one computer for the entire center, and even designed an Excel program to facilitate their manually written reports.  Tommy also taught literacy classes in a local prison and gave workshops to the community about the dangers of malaria. Tommy is now back in the United States and will attend medical school in the fall.  When asked what his greatest takeaway is from participating in the Peace Corps, Tommy answered that “he realized people are very different, but just because there are differences, it does not mean you cannot be friends.”

The Upper School thanks Tommy Jorgensen for stopping by and sharing his experience.