Tammy “Cat” Hadlow: Shattering Stereotypes with Peace Corps

Hadlow_Tammy bike portraitWhen she told friends and family she would be serving in the Peace Corps, 48-year-old Tammy Hadlow noticed the same reaction from each loved one when she broke the news.

“A majority of them said, ‘That is so you!’” she explained. “And they’ve been very encouraging.”

The Oswego, N.Y. native began her service as an environment Volunteer in the Philippines in July. For the next 27 months, Tammy, or “Cat” as she is called by her family, will work with her community on a variety of activities, including teaching environmental awareness and working with coastal resource management extension.

Tammy credits her prior volunteer experiences with preparing her for Peace Corps life.

“I’ve been involved with various local community nature centers, serving as a volunteer naturalist,” she said. “I gave guided tours and educational programs at nature centers. I served as a recycling educator at a previous job, teaching kids and adults about recycling programs.”

Before Peace Corps, Tammy earned her bachelor’s degree in communication studies from State University of New York at Oswego in Oswego, N.Y. in 1990. She also has a master’s degree in environmental studies from State University of New York’s College of Environmental Science and Forestry in Syracuse, N.Y., which she received in 1998. Tammy is also the proud mother of daughter Teera.

There are currently 223 Volunteers serving in the Philippines, speaking the national language of Tagalog as well as regional dialects when needed. Tammy looks forward to immersing herself in the Filipino culture, as well as shattering stereotypes.

“I can’t wait to learn about a totally new culture in the Philippines, and to help provide a more realistic view of America and Americans other than what’s portrayed on TV and in magazines.”

As she prepares for life overseas, Tammy acknowledges that there is one particular aspect of New York life she will miss most.

“Believe it not, I’m gonna miss the snow!” she says with a laugh. “I love the snow, and I love playing outdoors in the snow. The fact that I’m going to be away from it for two years is tough. I’ll miss my family and friends, and the climate in upstate New York.”

To learn more about Peace Corps: Philippines, click here.

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