UAA alumnus Jody Serrano begins Peace Corps service in Ukraine

by Michelle Saport  |   

Jody Serrano

UAA alumnus Jody Serrano will serve as a Peace Corps volunteer in Ukraine.

Jody Serrano of Wasilla has been accepted into the Peace Corps and will depart for Ukraine on Aug. 11, 2019, to begin training as a business development volunteer.

"I wanted to use my skills and knowledge to help foster relations with other countries. I believe that I can make a positive difference in the lives of the people of Ukraine, however small," said Serrano of his desire to join the Peace Corps.

Serrano is the son of Gil and Beverly Serrano of Wasilla and a graduate of Wasilla High School. He attended University of Alaska, Anchorage, where he earned an associate's degree in small business management. Prior to joining the Peace Corps, he volunteered with the Catholic Church, teaching and working with Bishop's Attic. He also worked in furniture sales, in the telecom industry, and as a real estate agent.

During the first three months of his service, Serrano will live with a host family in Ukraine to become fully immersed in the country's language and culture. After acquiring the necessary skills to assist his community, Serrano will be sworn into service and assigned to a community in Ukraine, where he will live and work for two years with the local people.

"I hope to become more adaptable in general." Serrano said. "I picked Ukraine because I believe my experiences and skills will be the most beneficial there. I am looking forward to learning the culture and language. I hope to build a longterm relationship with my community."

Serrano will work in cooperation with the local people and partner organizations on sustainable, community-based development projects that improve the lives of people in Ukraine and help Serrano develop leadership, technical and cross-cultural skills that will give him a competitive edge when he returns home. Peace Corps volunteers return from service as global citizens well-positioned for professional opportunities in today's global job market.

Serrano joins the 27 Alaska residents currently serving in the Peace Corps and more than 1,052 Alaska residents who have served in the Peace Corps since 1961.

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