Today on the blog let’s welcome Eboni!
She is currently a Peace Corps Volunteer experiencing life in Ghana.
If you have more questions for her after reading her story be sure to email or “Facebook” via the contact details below.
1. Please introduce yourself.
Hey yal! My name is Eboni Hooper and I’m currently an Education PCV in the Ashanti Region of Ghana. I’m from St. Louis, MO and a graduate of Xavier University of Louisiana in New Orleans where I majored in Biology and minored in Sociology. I’m a spunky tall thang, that despite the “horrible fashion sense” reputation PC Ghana has acquired I still dress to a “T”. I may seem shy upon meeting me but don’t let my observant nature fool you, once comfortable I’m a lot of fun. I enjoy music, writing poetry, singing and being goofy. Along with teaching Elective and Core Biology to the 1st and 2nd year High school students in my community, I’ve started a reading club at my school and I am currently working on a community project. I am also a member of PCDS, our in country diversity committee. I’ve been in country for 9 months now so my family didn’t find the, I came to Ghana to hide my pregnancy joke too funny. With that said, that’s me in a nut shell.
2. What sparked your interest in joining the Peace Corps?
During my time at Xavier I had an English professor who was ending his teaching career to either join the Peace Corps or attend Law School. All tho he chose the latter, talking to him during his contemplation phase sparked my interest in the organization. Shortly after this some RPCV’s came to my campus to do recruitment and from there I decided upon my graduation from college in May 2013 I’d apply.
3. As black American traveler, what advice would you give to others inspired to join the Peace Corps but afraid to take the first step?
Fear is what holds us back from reaching our true potential! Upon arriving in Ghana I met other volunteers some younger than myself (I’m 25) that had already traveled to several countries doing various things. One could argue socioeconomic status but we also can’t forget that some of us just don’t know of these opportunities to even pursue them. So when you do get the opportunity you can’t be afraid to take that step. We matter, if we stay in country it only allows for the current perceptions of America’s demographics and black stereotypes to continue. Its a big beautiful world and we should never let anything hinder us from exploring it when given the opportunity to.
4. What is the most interesting experience you’ve had in Ghana so far?
While serving in Ghana one of the most interesting things I have experienced is Black History Month. For the first time in my life i was celebrating outside of my comfort zone. While I’ve always cherished the history of our people and enjoyed the 28 days of jam packed t.v. documentaries, community speeches, school events etc i realized while in Ghana i had taken for granted having a community of people who shared that enthusiasm.
After having been asked many questions about Black America, slavery, my roots, swag, drug dealers, if i was truly American or why is my hair not permed over the past months, I saw Black History Month 2015 to be a perfect opportunity to have a cross cultural exchange that was different from any thing they had ever experienced. A moment to learn about a hidden aspect of the Great United States of America. And that’s what exactly transpired, a month filled of educating my students and staff about African-American achievements along with past and current struggles. Which i believe brought about some unity between two perceived separate people who are really one in the same. The month ended with my school surprising me and singing “One Love” to me which moved my heart in an unimaginable way. I’d finally broken through, I wasn’t “white” anymore i was one, we are one.
5. How did your family and friends react when you told them you are applying for Peace Corps?
My family and friends were initially leery about me joining the Peace Corps. Yet again that fear of the unknown was hindering them from seeing how wonderful this experience would be. As time went on and they realized I was serious they began to do their own research and eventually everyone was just as excited as I was about the next chapter in my life of cross cultural exchange. My mother however didn’t truly agree until I was in Ghana for a few months. She didn’t agree with my decision to turn down acceptance into various Master’s programs in order to pursue the Peace Corps. But in due time she too accepted that school would be there when i returned and while I am young, single, and childless this was the perfect time to embark on this journey.
6. What do you hope to do after your service?
After my service I intend to continue in school and get my Masters In Public Health with a concentration in either Global health or Epidemiology. With this I intend to relocate to Atlanta, GA and help my cousins launch their law firm while I attend school. On a long term basis I plan to open my own public health clinic.
7. Where can people get in touch with you if they have any questions?
Lucky for me I actual have reliable Internet connection at site so yes, email, facebook, instagram me…..I does it alllllll boo boo lol.
Facebook: Eboni Hooper