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Public Health ramps up Peace Corps programs
 Maggie Bale

Master’s International student Maggie Bale plans to join the Peace Corps after she graduates. Her brother Jeff, a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer from Namibia, enrolled at Rollins in Fall 2001.

It’s been two years since the Our Community Farm Project took root on a converted playground in Decatur, Georgia. Every Saturday, refugee women from Burundi arrive early in the morning to tend the vegetables and fruits they produce to help feed their families and sell at a local farmer’s market. Organized by Refugee Family Services, the successful project led to formation of the Global Growers Network of Georgia to expand urban gardening, primarily among the large refugee population in DeKalb County. What the network needs most is more land.

Maggie Bale 12MPH has helped find it. Last spring, she applied her skills in Geographic Information Systems and mapping to pinpoint locations in nearby Clarkston, Georgia, that could be developed as urban gardens. While Bale’s work not only benefits Clarkston’s refugee committee, it also is preparing her for her next assignment after she graduates next year. Bale is among a growing number of Rollins students enrolled in the Master’s International (MI) Program, which prepares them for Peace Corps service overseas.

“I came to Emory with a strong knowledge of what it means to be a Peace Corps volunteer,” says Bale, whose two older brothers are Returned Peace Corps Volunteers (RPCVs). Her brother Jeff enrolled at Rollins this fall. “But what my brothers couldn’t give me through their stories was real-world experience. The Master’s International Program provides that experience by helping me work with refugees, one of the most underserved—and international—populations in Atlanta.”

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