Turner takes on Uganda Peace Corps position

Mallory Turner ’17 didn’t take “no” for an answer when she didn’t get into the Peace Corps her first try.

Mallory Turner '17During the extremely competitive process to get accepted, she didn’t make the cut last school year. After taking an Americorps position and revamping her application, however, she was recently accepted for a position as a Peace Corps Community Health Educator in Uganda.

“This opportunity means quite a lot to me,” Turner said. “It’s something I’ve been working toward for several years now. I think that what this opportunity represents the most for me is that hard work really pays off and not to give up.”

Not giving up is something the sociology major from Carbondale, Illinois, said she tackled while at Cornell College.

“Cornell taught me that it’s okay to fail,” Turner said. “I expect that I will face many challenges and failures during my term of service, and I know that I’ll be able to handle whatever is thrown at me. My sophomore year I had to withdraw from Spanish 102 because I was failing it. The next year I ended up studying in Spain for a semester. This taught me that failures do not define me. What defines me is how I react to those failures.”

Turner will be working with health clinics and community-based organizations to promote healthy behaviors in Uganda. That includes HIV and malaria prevention, child health, and sanitation practices. She’s looking forward to learning a local language in Uganda and working with the people.

“I’m also excited to be working with a service organization that aligns with my own values,” Turner said. “It is important to me to give service to others when they’ve asked for it. What appeals to me about Peace Corps is that the countries it serves have asked for volunteers to be in their community. When all individuals have a stake in the process, the outcome is much stronger than if one person is trying to make the change. I’m excited to do a lot of listening to what Ugandan community members need and want for their own town.”

Turner will go through a training once she arrives in  Uganda. She’ll be there for 27 months, starting this summer.