Westlake resident begins Peace Corps service in China

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Krysta Marie Falasca, 23, of Westlake, Ohio, has been accepted into the Peace Corps and will depart for China June 27 to begin training as an education volunteer. Falasca will make a difference teaching English as a foreign language at a Chinese university.

“The Peace Corps has been a long-time goal of mine,” Falasca said. “Since before high school, I can remember talking about becoming a volunteer.”

Falasca is the daughter of Don Falasca and Cindy Sikora and a 2008 graduate of Westlake High School. She graduated from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, with a bachelor’s degree in linguistics in 2012. With 28 alumni currently serving overseas, Miami University ranks No. 11 on Peace Corps’ annual list of the top midsized colleges in producing volunteers, and the school’s culture of service helped motivate Falasca.

“Miami always pushed me to fulfill my dreams, and the Peace Corps is one of my biggest,” she said.

Falasca said participating in Girl Scouts and student council, as well as taking care of grandparents and neighbors, showed her how rewarding volunteer work could be.

“Starting at a young age I loved to help anyone who needed it,” she said. “I loved the satisfaction of being important in someone else’s life and helping to make a difference.”

During the first three months of her service in China, Falasca will complete technical, language, health and safety training while living with a host family to become fully immersed in the country’s language and culture. The training and cultural exchange prepare Falasca for her two years of service, while also allowing community members to gain a better understanding of Americans. After Falasca is sworn into service and assigned to a community, she will work on sustainable, community-driven development projects that make a difference for the people of China and provide Falasca with leadership and cross-cultural skills she can use throughout her career.

“As for my future, I welcome all of the experiences and opportunities that being a Peace Corps volunteer will bring, and hope that it will lead me to a life of fulfillment,” she said.

Falasca joins the 291 Ohio residents currently serving in the Peace Corps. More than 6,875 Ohio residents have served as volunteers since the agency was created in 1961.

About Peace Corps in China: More than 830 Peace Corps volunteers have served in China since the program was established in 1993. Currently, 146 volunteers serve in China. Volunteers work in the area of education. Volunteers are trained and work in Mandarin Chinese.

About the Peace Corps: Since President John F. Kennedy established the Peace Corps by executive order on March 1, 1961, more than 210,000 Americans have served in 139 host countries. Today, 8,073 volunteers are working with local communities in 76 host countries in agriculture, community economic development, education, environment, health and youth in development. Peace Corps volunteers must be U.S. citizens and at least 18 years of age. Peace Corps service is a 27-month commitment and the agency’s mission is to promote world peace and friendship and a better understanding between Americans and people of other countries. Visit www.peacecorps.gov for more information.


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