Puksta Scholar Begins Peace Corps Service in China

June 21, 2012

DALLAS, June 21, 2012 -- Matthew Bloise, 26, of Colorado Springs, Colo., has been accepted into the Peace Corps and will depart for China June 29 to begin pre-service training as a University English Teacher Peace Corps volunteer. Upon graduation from volunteer training in September, Bloise will begin training future teachers in English and organize language-based programs throughout the region.

Bloise is the son of Jim and Jane Bloise and a graduate of Thomas B. Dougherty High School in Colorado Springs, Colo.. He then attended The University of Colorado in Boulder, Colo., where he earned a Bachelor’s degree in English Literature in 2007. 

“There are few opportunities in our society to have a bona-fide adventure while serving a higher cause, but the Peace Corps provides both extremely well,” he says. “I have wanted to join since my freshman year at [The University of Colorado], primarily for the chance to experience something radically different from everything I know, and force myself to grow as a result.”

Service has been an intricate part of his life. While at CUB he was a member of the Puksta Scholars Program, an organization that encourages student to get involved with civic activism. As a volunteer he worked with homeless teens. During the summer of 2006 he interned with Congressman Doug Lamborn, Representative for Colorado's 5th District.

During the first three months of his service, Bloise will live with a host family in China to become fully immersed in the country’s language and culture. After acquiring the language and cultural skills necessary to assist his community, Bloise will be sworn into service and be assigned to a community in China, where he will live and work for two years with the local people.

Bloise hopes his time with the Peace Corps will help him with his future career prospects. “I am transitioning between careers right now and, after much reflection, have decided to pursue international relations,” he says. “The Peace Corps will prepare me for this path in numerous ways, most importantly through direct immersion with a foreign culture.”

While in service, he will receive all living expenses, full health and dental coverage, and a $7,425 transition fund each upon completing service.  After Peace Corps, she is eligible for non-competitive federal employment advantage and Peace Corps Fellows/USA graduate programs offering financial assistance.  

Bloise joins the 297 Colorado residents currently serving in the Peace Corps and more than 6,630 Colorado residents who have served in the Peace Corps since 1961.

About volunteers in China: More than 750 Peace Corps volunteers have served in China since the program was established in 1993. Currently, 162 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 200,000 Americans have served in 139 host countries. Today, 9,095 volunteers are working with local communities in 75 host countries. 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.