Home Lifestyle UNCP alumnus among first Peace Corps volunteers to return overseas

UNCP alumnus among first Peace Corps volunteers to return overseas

UNC Pembroke alumnus Cedric Turner-Kopa is among the first Peace Corps volunteers to return to overseas service since the agency’s unprecedented global evacuation in March 2020.

The Peace Corps suspended global operations and evacuated nearly 7,000 volunteers from more than 60 countries at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Turner-Kopa will serve as a volunteer in Madagascar in the health sector. The mission will last two years. Madagascar, the world’s fifth-largest island, is located off the coast of southern Africa.

“I want to serve my country while contributing to a humanitarian cause and help the world be more friendly. I want to demonstrate to my son that we can sacrifice to serve others,” he said.

“I’m looking forward to going to Africa — the land of distant ancestors — sharing music, learning about the Malagasy people and learning the language.”

He will begin his three-month pre-service training in mid-February.

After earning a degree in psychology from UNCP in 2007, Turner-Kopa completed a master’s degree from UNC Wilmington and began a career as a substance abuse therapist. His passion for humanitarian work was instilled in him by his parents, who are both retired from the U.S. Air Force.

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“I highly encourage current UNCP students to explore international travel, study abroad or consider the Peace Corps. The experience so far has been life changing.”

Turner-Kopa joins 15 other UNCP alumni who have served as Peace Corps volunteers until missions were halted in 2020. UNCP offers a two-year Peace Corps Prep certificate program comprised of courses paired with community service designed to prepare students for volunteer service internationally.

For information about Peace Corps Prep at UNCP, visit the website.