UH Hilo alum Jeffrey Tomas among 1st Peace Corps volunteers to return to service overseas

Jeffrey Tomas says his studies and experience at UH Hilo contributed to his decision to join the Peace Corps.


Jeffrey Tomas
Jeffrey Tomas

Jeffrey Tomas, a University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo alumnus, is among the first Peace Corps volunteers to return to overseas service since the agency’s unprecedented global evacuation in March 2020. The Peace Corps suspended global operations and evacuated nearly 7,000 volunteers from more than 60 countries at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I was motivated to join the Peace Corps because of the opportunity to serve abroad in a community, immerse myself in a new culture, and learn a new language,” says Tomas, a Hilo native who graduated from UH Hilo in 2020 with a bachelor of arts in anthropology. He will serve for two years as a volunteer in Zambia in the agriculture sector.

“I’m most excited to try new foods, travel when I have the opportunity, and become more knowledgeable in all things agriculture. I’m very grateful for the opportunity to serve.”

Tomas says his studies and experience at UH Hilo contributed to his decision to join the Peace Corps.

“As an anthropology major, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to fully immerse myself in a new culture,” he says. “Also, being able to serve in a community while at the same time following my passion for agriculture, which I discovered while studying at UH Hilo, seemed like a great idea.”

The volunteer cohorts are made up of both first-time volunteers and volunteers who were evacuated in early 2020. Upon finishing a three-month training, volunteers will collaborate with their host communities on locally prioritized projects in one of Peace Corps’ six sectors (agriculture, community economic development, education, environment, health or youth in development) and all will engage in COVID-19 response and recovery work.

Read full story at UH System News.

Share this story