Teya Lucyshyn ’19 and Caitlin Lasher ’19 have been chosen to serve in the Peace Corps following their graduation in May. Both students will head to the Ukraine, where they will work in an educational capacity with youth.
A biology and educational studies major, Lucyshyn will return to her roots. “All four of my grandparents emigrated from Ukraine after World War II, arriving to the United States with the clothes on their backs and nothing but the Ukrainian culture as their riches,” she says. A recent trip to meet extended family living in the Ukraine spurred her desire to serve the country.
Lucyshyn will spend her time as a community youth worker. “I will most likely be in a rural area and will be paired with a secondary school, a center for creative youth, a center of social services, a department for youth and sports, or a youth NGO,” she says.
Lucyshyn now serves as a teacher assistant at Geneva Middle School and works with local youth at the Boys and Girls Club of Geneva. She is a tutor coordinator for the HWS Tutor Corps and served as a Summer of Service intern at the Boys and Girls Club of Geneva and Soyuzivka Ukrainian Dance Camp in Kerhonkson, N.Y. As an EcoRep on campus, she educates her peers on sustainable living. Lucyshyn is also a William and Diane Green East Aurora Community Scholarship recipient through the generous support of the Green Family.
A member of the HWS Board of Trustees, Lasher is a political science major with a double minor in education and philosophy. She will receive her TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) certificate in May —a credential that will be useful to her in her Peace Corps assignment.
“I’ll be serving as a TEFL secondary education volunteer, teaching English for the next two years, as well as doing other things such as hosting clubs, coaching sports and helping facilitate trainings and camps,” says Lasher.
Lasher is a conversation partner with the Center for Teaching and Learning at HWS, where she works with international students on their written and conversational English language skills. She is a tutor with Literacy Volunteers of Ontario and Yates Counties as well as primary-level students with Neighbor’s Night. Lasher is also a student mentor for the Leadership League of Women.
The Colleges rank third among small schools on the Peace Corps’ 2019 list of Top Volunteer-Producing Colleges and Universities. Since the Peace Corps was founded in 1961, 235 alums from HWS have traveled abroad to serve as volunteers, including 16 alums currently volunteering.