“Volunteering with the Peace Corps will allow me to do what I love most: work with children on a consistent basis and help them develop essential skills.”
After earning his master’s degree in criminal justice this May, Thomas Lafferty ’17 (M.S.) will travel to the African nation of Swaziland to work as a youth development volunteer for the Peace Corps.
For 27 months, Lafferty will focus on helping young people improve their educational opportunities and encouraging them to make healthy lifestyle choices. He’ll also teach English, prepare older children for the rigors of finding a job or applying to college, and help all of them to develop effective life skills. More specifically, he’ll combat gender inequality by empowering girls, and will also work with orphans and other vulnerable children.
While working on his degree, Lafferty volunteered with the World Affairs Council’s Global Smarts Mentoring Program, a partnership between SJU and the Council. The Holy Family University alumnus instructed six Gesu middle school students once a week. His group successfully represented Kenya at the Jr. Model United Nations debate conference held at Temple University last spring.
With his focus now trained on Swaziland — and his compassion for marginalized youth in gear — Lafferty is ready and willing to take on new challenges and gain new perspectives.
“Most importantly, though,” he says, “volunteering with the Peace Corps will allow me to do what I love most: work with children on a consistent basis and help them develop essential skills.”
A full profile about Lafferty is available on the SJU News website.