WASHINGTON – Jacob Milton, 26, of Gardner, has been accepted into the Peace Corps and will depart for Thailand on Jan. 8, 2020, to begin training as a Youth in Development Volunteer.
“A quote by Martin Luther King Jr. inspired me to give back to the world ‘Everyone has the power for greatness, not for fame, but greatness, because greatness is determined by service,’” said Milton of his desire to join the Peace Corps.
Milton is the son of Melissa and Mike Milton and grandson of Joyce and Thomas Flynn. He is a graduate of Sizer School in Fitchburg, and attended Elms College in Chicopee, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in social work. Throughout the past four years, Milton worked with male unaccompanied refugee minors, which he describes as “life-changing” and that “opened his mind much more than he knew possible.”
During the first three months of his service, Milton will live with a host family in Thailand to become fully immersed in the country’s language and culture. After acquiring the necessary skills to assist his community, Milton will be sworn into service and assigned to a community in Thailand, where he will live and work for two years with the local people.
“I want my legacy to be more than the materials I acquired throughout the Peace Corps or my lifetime. As Maya Angelou says, ‘Your legacy is every life you touch! It's every person who ever... felt something. Was moved to do something. Go back to school, leave an abusive marriage, stop hitting their kids, no longer remain silent, not be a victim. It's not one thing—it's everything!’ I believe the Peace Corps will give me the opportunity to create a lasting legacy that I can be proud of,” said Milton.
Milton will work in cooperation with the local people and partner organizations on sustainable, community-based development projects that improve the lives of people in Thailand and help Milton develop leadership, technical and cross-cultural skills that will give him a competitive edge when he returns home. Peace Corps Volunteers return from service as global citizens well-positioned for professional opportunities in today’s global job market.
Milton joins the 242 Massachusetts residents currently serving in the Peace Corps and more than 8,763 Massachusetts residents who have served in the Peace Corps since 1961. The Peace Corps currently has a high need for applicants to fill volunteer programs departing in 2020. Interested Americans can apply online by Jan. 1 for hundreds of available openings in 31 countries worldwide. Volunteers receive a living stipend, extensive language and technical training, and financial benefits including student loan deferment and graduate school fellowships after service. To learn more about how to get involved with Peace Corps and the benefits of service, connect with a recruiter online or register to attend an event.