The Peace Corps traces its roots and mission to 1960, when then Senator John F. Kennedy challenged students at the University of Michigan to serve their country in the cause of peace by living and working in developing countries. From that inspiration grew an agency of the federal government devoted to world peace and friendship.
Since that time, more than 190,000 Peace Corps Volunteers have been invited by 139 host countries to work on issues ranging from HIV/AIDS prevention and education to information technology and environmental preservation.
The Peace Corps' mission has three goals:
1. Helping the people of interested countries in meeting their need for trained men and women.
2. Helping promote a better understanding of Americans on the part of the peoples served.
3. Helping promote a better understanding of other peoples on the part of Americans.
Today's Peace Corps is more vital than ever, working in emerging and essential areas such as information technology and business development, and committing more than 1,000 new Volunteers as a part of the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief. Peace Corps Volunteers continue to help countless individuals who want to build a better life for themselves, their children and their communities.
Lassana Touré, Peace Corps regional recruiter for ASU/ Phoenix, served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in The Kingdom of Tonga from 2004-2007 after completing a bachelor's degree at Loyola Marymount University.
Lassana wore many hats as a community development volunteer in Tonga. On a daily basis, he taught geography, history, and youth government courses at a local primary and secondary school.
Outside of the classroom, he worked on a project to overhaul a local village's water system. The project eventually secured private funding and is still in progress. Lassana also deepened his community involvement -- and got his fair share of exercise -- by teaching and coaching soccer and track and field.
"Peace Corps," he says, "was my chance to show the international community the new face of America. We're not what you see on TV or what you hear pumping through the radio."
Arriving in Tonga, Lassana was not surprised to see the beautiful beaches and forests he had imagined. He was, however, surprised by the friendly nature of the local community. "People were smiling and very personable. Growing up in L.A., I wasn't used to that. In Tonga I could go anywhere on the island and people would always have an open door for me."
Lassana's decision to join the Peace Corps staff as a recruiter was Lassana's "way of giving back to a great organization." Lassana looks forward to hosting local events and educating residents of the Greater Phoenix Area about Peace Corps.
Attn: Lassana Toure
510 E. University Drive, #3416
Tempe, AZ 85281
The Peace Corps Office is located in the ASU Tempe Center on the corner of Mill and University.
For a list of Lassana's upcomig events, go to www.peacecorps.gov and click on Find Local Events/ Arizona.
Last updated: January 14, 2010 by Memorial Union WebTeam