Cooperative Agreement between Peace Corps and National Peace Corps Association FY2008 Program

I. PURPOSE OF AGREEMENT. The purpose of this Agreement is to provide support to the National Peace Corps Association (“NPCA”) for the program described in Attachment A to this Agreement entitled "Program Description."

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Attachment A Peace Corps/NPCA Program Description I. Mentorship Program for returning Peace Corps Volunteers

Peace Corps enters into this Agreement pursuant to its authority granted by Sections 2, 10(a)(1) and 18 of the Peace Corps Act related to the Peace Corps’ Third Goal of “Helping promote a better understanding of other peoples on the part of Americans” and Section 5(k) related to counseling returned volunteers for one year with respect to opportunities for further education and employment. Under an FY2007 cooperative agreement with the Peace Corps, the National Peace Corps Association (NPCA) assisted the Peace Corps by designing, developing, preparing an infrastructure for, and testing a mentorship program at the local level for returning Volunteers. The mentorship program facilitated returning Volunteers’ adjustment back home, and in turn, increased the likelihood of their long-term participation in Third Goal activities, allied recruitment activities, and general support for the Peace Corps. Mentors, mentees, and affiliate group leaders were surveyed by NPCA to assess the program. Thirty-two (32) mentees responded and thirty-four (34) mentors responded to the survey. Eighty-five percent of mentors were satisfied with the program overall and reported that their expectations had been met. Ninety-four percent indicated that they are interested in participating in future mentoring programs. Mentees reported that most of their expectations were met; that their mentors had helped in a variety of ways—from just listening to their Peace Corps stories and their struggles with finishing service, to actively reviewing resumes, providing contacts for interviews and, in at least two cases, actually providing housing or a job directly. Most mentees had positive feedback about the ways in which their mentors had been supportive: 79% indicated that they were satisfied with their match with their mentor and 87% are interested in participating in future mentoring programs. Two-thirds of the mentors and 60% of the mentees indicated that they wanted to continue their mentoring relationship beyond the initial six-month pilot period. All three groups involved in the pilot program are making plans to continue the mentoring program in their regions. In Chicago, the group has identified a volunteer to serve as the mentoring coordinator, and will be meeting to establish plans for continuing the program. In Miami, the group has had some difficulty in coordinating activities since mentors and mentees are spread out geographically around the south of Florida. However, they are in the process of developing a program model that will work for their group. In Portland, a current mentee has volunteered to coordinate the program in the future and is using the orientation guide and other materials provided by NPCA to develop a plan for an ongoing program. As one of the mentors commented in their final evaluation, “My mentee and I … have talked about how great it will be when Seattle starts a mentoring program and would both like to be involved in getting that started and planning gatherings for mentoring pairs.”

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Purpose of the Mentorship Program • Under the Peace Corps Act, the Peace Corps may provide “programs under which volunteers would be counseled with respect to opportunities for further education and employment”. In addition Peace Corps’ Third Goal is to help promote a better understanding of other peoples on the part of Americans. • The Peace Corps’ Office of Domestic Programs (PC/DP) facilitates RPCVs’ transition from host country back to the U.S., by providing career and educational advice for up to one year, and by providing opportunities for RPCVS to engage in Third Goal activities. • Currently, PC/DP provides “hard” tools - such as Hotline, career and education assistance manuals, career fairs, brown bag meetings and workshop sessions, and career center resources. • NPCA can provide personal mentoring: the one-on-one support to help first year RPCVs transition from Volunteer service abroad to educational program, or job placement back in the United States. • With the intensity of adjustment issues, for example, the pace of career/family/education decisions while returning RPCVs are still deeply identifying with families, communities, and programs in their host countries, a mentoring program for returning RPCVs is necessary as a benefit of service. • Local RPCVs, selected as mentors, can personalize and add experience to the career, Third Goal, and adjustment materials available to returning Volunteers. This mentoring program benefit could also be an incentive during recruitment. • NPCA, through its membership and affiliate groups has been working successfully with Peace Corps for the past several years, and its returned Volunteer members are familiar with educational, career, and adjustment issues. Thus, NPCA can provide the structure and recruitment base for a mentorship program. This mentoring program will extend PC/DP resources and services as well as give a feedback mechanism to PC/DP for materials and programs being offered.

FY2008 Goals and Objectives Goals: • To design, develop, and prepare an infrastructure for delivering on a national scale a mentor program for returning Volunteers to (i) facilitate returning Volunteers’ ability to find desired employment or educational opportunities, and (ii) facilitate their adjustment back home.

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• In strengthening the returned Volunteers’ transition from Volunteer service to educational program or job placement, another expected goal may be fulfilled: to increase the likelihood of returned Volunteers’ long term participation in Third Goal activities and support for the Peace Corps, hence impacting the number of RPCVs formally participating in Peace Corps Week and Regional Office activities.

Objectives:

NPCA to develop an online registration and matching system to pair mentors with mentees. Registration System
o o o

Prospective mentors apply through a member group or directly online. NPCA or member groups qualify and register mentors. The NPCA website will link to downloadable materials (see below). In addition, member groups may provide mentors group-specific information on resources to assist the mentor relationship.

Matching System Prospective mentees research the mentor opportunity at the NPCA website. They can download a mentorship brochure that outlines the program, duties and responsibilities of mentor and mentee, and next steps. o They can search or review a list of member groups to identify groups that have mentors available.
o •

NPCA to update a mentorship orientation guide to include best practices from first year of mentor program - and a mentorship kit to resource the mentoring relationship. o Documents are available from a dedicated area on the NPCA website from which they can be downloaded by qualified and registered mentors and organized (as appropriate) by: stages of process • Orientation • Mentoring • Wrap-up • Evaluation target audience • Mentors • Mentees • Member Groups mentee need
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• • • •

Career Graduate School Transition

NPCA to produce a program brochure - targeting interested mentors and mentees – which includes program information and steps for participating in program. Available through the dedicated area on the NPCA website. NPCA to develop and support on-line communication for mentors/mentees to share information with each other and with others in the program. These could include: o Blogs o Online discussion boards o Online messaging or “ask the mentor” NPCA to promote and encourage mentor program through its standard member group, leader, and member communication channels. PC to promote at COS conferences and in Hotline. NPCA to develop and provide wrap-up and assessment materials to mentor pairs, collect feedback, and compile results.

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II. Build awareness of Peace Corps domestic programs and increase awareness of RPCV Third Goal “bring the world home” activities in their communities, through two NPCA/Peace Corps “open house” events. FY 2008 Goals and Objectives Goal: Through NPCA and its member groups, Peace Corps will expand public awareness for current recruitment and Third Goal activities through two open houses. NPCA will sponsor the two open house events. These two events, which will be organized by a partnership between NPCA, local member groups, and the RRO will be open to the general public, Third Goal recipients from the community, Peace Corps applicants and their families, and representatives of Peace Corps’ Third Goal programs: OPSI, Coverdell World Wise Schools, Masters International, Fellows, Crisis Corps, and Peace Corps Week programs. CWWS and OPSI are open to the general public, and in fact are designed for the general public, making the open houses significant awareness building events. Separate Peace Corps and NPCA workshops can occur before and/or after the open house but will not be part of the formal open house agreement.

Objectives: These two open houses will reacquaint the public and RPCVs with the expanded Peace Corps Third Goal activities and related Peace Corps programs, and the ways the public can participate. Since earlier open houses, OPSI has expanded its program and created easier methods for U.S. community participation, the CWWS has expanded its interactive program to reach more young people, Crisis Corps has changed its recruitment and many of its programs, and both MI and Fellows U.S.A. have grown significantly. These two open houses will showcase newly available opportunities. The open houses, with the participation of Third Goal beneficiaries, will also bring attention to how RPCVs, both as individuals and local groups, bring their international experience home and make a difference in their communities. Stories, presentations, and examples will be a part of the open house. The local groups will be responsible for the content of this part of the program. These open house events will be organized by NPCA in conjunction with Peace Corps RRO staff and select local affiliate groups and will feature the following Third Goal and related Peace Corps programs: • Crisis Corps • Peace Corps Partnership Program • Fellows/USA
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• • • •

Peace Corps Week Peace Match Coverdell World Wise Schools RRO recruitment activities

RPCVs and their friends and families are key to the success of many PC programs. • RPCV groups are logical donors to the Peace Corps Partnership Program. Even as their contributions have increased, the new themes for organizing contributions, the ways that it can happen, and the impact on the volunteers is not yet well known. • Qualified RPCVs are needed to serve as Crisis Corps Volunteers, and new systems for recruiting against specific programs and changes in programs from immediate crises to more traditional skilled development work, and potentially helping reopen countries are new aspects to the program that need to be communicated to the RPCV community. • RPCVs are in leadership positions in government, academia, nonprofit organizations, and business, and frequently make public their Peace Corps background. They should be kept abreast of Peace Corps programs and activities and stay connected with the Peace Corps. • Almost one third of RPCVs are educators and could promote the use of CWWS educational resources in schools. • From participating RPCVs, the Agency can update contact information, including occupations and employer information Such information shall be used for Peace Corps purposes only.

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