Cody Mitchell Heche, 23, of Cary, Ill., has been accepted into the Peace Corps and will depart for Zambia Feb. 3 to begin training as an agriculture volunteer. Heche will live and work at the community level to make a difference by helping local farmers successfully build and manage fishponds as a way to increase their incomes.
Heche is the son of Bill and Kim Heche and a graduate of Cary-Grove High School in Cary, Ill. He graduated from Augustana College in Rock Island, Ill., where he earned his degree in sociology, art, and African studies.
“My degree from Augustana taught me about human interaction and relationships, which will help me during my Peace Corps service,” Heche said.
Heche also worked as a home-health provider in Bettendorf, Iowa, a job that “incorporated helping people who couldn’t necessarily provide for themselves,” he said. “I found that I was happiest when I was working with my clients there.”
During the first three months of his service, Heche will live with a host family in Zambia to learn the local language and integrate into the local culture. After acquiring the language and cultural skills that will help him make a lasting difference, Heche will be sworn into service and assigned to a community in Zambia where he will serve for two years.
Heche will work in cooperation with the local people and partner organizations on sustainable, community-based development projects that improve the lives of people in Zambia and help Heche 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.
Heche joins the 300 Illinois residents currently serving in the Peace Corps. More than 8,302 Illinois residents have served as volunteers since the agency was created in 1961.
About Peace Corps in Zambia: There are currently 264 volunteers in Zambia working in the areas of education, community economic development, environment, agriculture and health. During their service in Zambia, volunteers learn to speak the local languages, including: Bemba, Kaonde, Lunda, Nyanya, Mambwe, Tonga and Tumbuka. More than 1,535 Peace Corps volunteers have served in Zambia since the program was established in 1994.
About the Peace Corps: As the preeminent international service organization of the United States, the Peace Corps sends Americans abroad to tackle the most pressing needs of people around the world. Peace Corps volunteers work at the grassroots level with local governments, schools, communities, small businesses and entrepreneurs to develop sustainable solutions that address challenges in education, health, economic development, agriculture, environment and youth development. When they return home, volunteers bring their knowledge and experiences – and a global outlook – back to the United States, enriching the lives of those around them. President John F. Kennedy established the Peace Corps in 1961 to foster a better understanding among Americans and people of other countries. Since then, more than 215,000 Americans of all ages have served in 139 countries worldwide. Visit www.peacecorps.gov to learn more.