While he studied abroad in South Africa as an undergrad at Hobart College, Benjamin D’Innocenzo never would have guessed that it was the beginning a journey that would ultimately lead him to the Peace Corps. His invitation to serve is an achievement years in the making.
“For me, Peace Corps has been the culmination of four years of hard work,” Benjamin, 24, explained. “I studied abroad in South Africa as an undergrad, and while I was there I met some of the Peace Corps Volunteers serving there. They were the ones who turned me onto the idea of serving in Peace Corps when I graduated.”
Following his adventures in South Africa, Benjamin attended St. Mary’s University College in London, earning his master’s degree doing coursework for a year in London and a year in Bangkok. With an international business degree and plenty of experience in cultural adaptation under his belt, Benjamin is eager to begin his service as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Cameroon on May 28th.
“I’m very excited to be studying French and have the opportunity to learn it in a Francophone country,” said Benjamin. “I’m also looking forward to applying my learned business skills in a real world environment.”
During the first three months of his service, Benjamin will live with a host family in Cameroon to become fully immersed in the country’s language and culture. After acquiring the language and cultural skills he needs to help his community, Benjamin will be sworn into service and be assigned to a village in Cameroon. For two years, he will live and work with the people of his village as a Business Development Volunteer.
As Benjamin prepares himself for 27 months of service, he is enjoying the time he’s been spending with his family and friends in his hometown of Manhattan, N.Y.
“They were skeptical at first, but I think they’re all very excited and proud of what I’ll be doing there,” he said.
Benjamin joins the 448 New Yorkers currently serving in the Peace Corps and more than 12,682 New York residents who have served in the Peace Corps since 1961.
For more information about Business Development Volunteers, click here.