Peace Corps selects Guerra for Costa Rica position

Jeannette Guerra ’17 is ready to get to work helping youth in Costa Rica.

The Peace Corps has selected the Cornell senior to become a youth development coordinator, starting this July.  

“My job will address the main social issues that affect youth development in Costa Rica,” Guerra said. “That includes drug use, alcohol consumption, school dropout rates, teenage pregnancy, and the lack of recreational and sports activities for youth. My goal as a youth coordinator is to promote life skills, leadership development, gender sexual health, arts and recreation, and physical activities.”

The application process included a personal statement, resume, letters of recommendation, and an interview.

“My personal statement included information about how my parents’ migration from Mexico to the United States has shaped me today,” Guerra said.

Guerra knew she wanted to apply for the Peace Corps after discovering her love for helping youth during a camp called No Estan Solos, which welcomes children who have migrated from Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador. Her time and experiences at Cornell also helped prepare her for her journey.

“Cornell has made me step out of my comfort zone,” Guerra said. “I am from California and decided to come to Cornell even though I never visited the college. I had no connections at Cornell, and I still decided to come here. I took a big risk but that risk paid off. Based on my Cornell experience, I decided to take another risk and move to a different country.”

Guerra is a biology major with an anthropology minor, and she has been active on campus. She was the Arthur Vining Davis Fellow her junior year and took part in Eyes of the World, Lunch Buddies, Rise Up, and Lambda Alpha. She also won the Frank G. Brooks Biology Outstanding Senior Award this year.

Now she’s preparing to pack up and move on to the next chapter of her life.

“I hope to learn more about the Costa Rican culture and their worldview,” Guerra said. “My goal is to impact the youth and encourage them—but at the same time learn from them.”

For more information, please contact Public Relations Director Jill Hawk at or 319.895.4232.