William Smith College senior rower Annika Linden was recently accepted into the Peace Corps. The Sherborn, Mass., native was assigned to the youth development program in Morocco.
“I began to take it seriously and really considered joining after I came back from Thailand and switched my major to anthropology,” Linden says. “I fell in love with the simplistic way of life in Thailand and I became fascinated with learning about cultures and teaching. I knew it was something that I wanted to continue doing. After additional trips to South East Asia, I realized that I wanted to live and work abroad and the Peace Corps was a perfect way to do that.”
Linden credits the Colleges for pushing her out of her comfort zone and pursuing an opportunity with the Peace Corps. Through the Peace Corps recruiter who came to campus, she was able to make connections with alums that have served and have conversations that would set her up for success in the future.
The current health crisis has altered the timeline for her service, but Linden is more excited now to start serving. While she will be at home a little longer than anticipated, she was offered an opportunity to serve in a different location or serve on a different project, both for the state of health in Morocco and assist the needs of other countries as well.
“Honestly, I am even more excited to serve now then I was before,” Linden says. “With everything going on in the world, I get to be a part of and help in the aftermath of this pandemic and I think now more than ever we need to come together and recognize that differences aren’t bad but rather something we can bond over and come together to be stronger.”
Hobart and William Smith Colleges rank No. 16 among small schools on the Peace Corps’ list of top volunteer-producing colleges and universities in 2020. HWS has appeared in the rankings in each of the last four years. Since the agency’s founding in 1961, 236 alums from the Colleges have served abroad as Peace Corps volunteers. This year New York State ranked No. 2 among the top volunteer-producing states, with 14,494.
Linden is a four-year member of the rowing team. She won three medals at the Liberty League Championships during her career. Linden won a gold medal with the second varsity eight as a first-year and a silver medal as a sophomore in the varsity eight. During her junior year, she won a bronze medal in the varsity four. In addition, Linden collected a bronze medal with the novice eight at the Head of the Fish as a first-year. She earned the Rowing Coach’s Award as a first-year.
The photo above features Annika Linden ’20 gathering with classmates along the Red Delta, the river that separates China and Vietnam.