A Passion for Service

Published: Jun 21, 2002

New Approaches to Real-World Problems

Victoria Vargas is a Shriver Peaceworker.
Victoria Vargas is a Shriver Peaceworker.

“A Passion for Service”
What do Idaho, Mozambique and UMBC all have in common? They all have played a vital role in the life of Victoria Vargas, a member of the Shriver Peaceworker Program, established by UMBC’s Shriver Center.
Born and raised in Twin Falls, Idaho, Vargas is the daughter of a migrant farm worker who believed that success for his eight children would come through hard work and a commitment to education. She has always had a passion for service and in 1998 she was accepted in the Peace Corps and traveled to Mozambique, where she taught English to eighth graders. “I like to travel, meet new people and experience new cultures. Seeing the world first hand is a great way to learn and grow,” Vargas says.
As Shriver Peaceworkers, Returned Peace Corp volunteers pursue graduate degrees while simultaneously working in a community service placement. Vargas is a research assistant with the Choice Program, a Baltimore community based intervention program that works with adjudicated youth from the ages of 9-18.  She has assisted Choice in designing an evaluation and is currently assisting the program in conducting a pilot study that focuses on resiliency. 
In May 2002, Vargas received her Master’s in Policy Sciences from UMBC. She was one of two UMBC graduates to be accepted into the Presidential Management Intern Program and has since accepted a position as with the Department of Housing and Urban Development where she will be working in the Southwest Border, Colonias and Migrant/Farmer Communities Section.
Of her Peaceworker experience, Vargas says, “When you oil the key of life with a quality education, every door of opportunity can be unlocked and a whole new world can be opened up for you to experience.”
On June 18, Vargas and returned Peace Corps Fellows from across the U.S. will be on campus to attend the annual Peace Corps Fellows Conference, designed to bring the Fellows together to facilitate idea generation and collaboration between community service programs.

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