WASHINGTON, D.C., April 18, 2014 – Lila Sandage, 25, of Lexington, Va., has been accepted into the Peace Corps and will depart for the Kyrgyz Republic on April 23 to begin training as a secondary education English teacher. Sandage will live and work at the community level to make a difference by serving as a TEFL teacher by enriching the classroom experience, sharing resources, developing teaching materials with local teachers and becoming involved in community- and school-based projects.
“I thought it would be a good way to gain perspective of life outside of my country and to challenge myself,” Sandage said of her reason for joining the Peace Corps.
Sandage is the daughter of Greg and Patricia Sandage and a graduate of Rockbridge County High School in Lexington, Va. She then attended Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Va., where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in international studies in 2011. She has also worked as an English teacher at JungDong Kid’s College in South Korea.
“I majored in international studies and I did a study abroad program in Peru, working in an elementary school as a teacher’s assistant and was a workshop leader working with women groups,” Sandage said.
During the first three months of her service, Sandage will live with a host family in the Kyrgyz Republic to learn the local language and integrate into the local culture. After acquiring the language and cultural skills that will help her make a lasting difference, Sandage will be sworn into service and assigned to a community in the Kyrgyz Republic where she will serve for two years.
Sandage will work in cooperation with the local people and partner organizations on sustainable, community-based development projects that improve the lives of people in the Kyrgyz Republicand help Sandage develop leadership, technical and cross-cultural skills that will give her a competitive edge when she returns home. Peace Corps volunteers return from service as global citizens well-positioned for professional opportunities in today’s global job market.
“I hope to immerse myself in the culture and develop good language skills, and to become a better leader in my future community,” Sandage said.
Sandage joins 267 Virginia residents currently serving in the Peace Corps. More than 7,241 Virginia residents have served in the Peace Corps since its establishment in 1961.
About Peace Corps/Kyrgyz Republic: There are currently 73 volunteers in the Kyrgyz Republic working in the areas of education, community economic development and health. During their service in the Kyrgyz Republic, volunteers learn to speak the local languages, including Kyrgyz and Russian. More than 1,020 Peace Corps volunteers have served in the Kyrgyz Republic since the program was established in 1993.