Anna Williams: Continuing a Family Tradition

Williams_Anna in FranceServing in the Peace Corps has become a tradition in the Williams family. Anna Williams, 25, is now the second generation to make her foray into Peace Corps service. Her parents, Bill and Donna, were Volunteers in Tunisia from 1975 to 1977.

“My parents are very supportive, but then again they put their parents through the same kind of stress!” said Anna, who left to begin her service in Togo as an Education Volunteer in June. “They gained a lot from their PC experience, but the biggest thing is probably my sister who was born on the 4th of July at the end of their service!” Williams_Anna in Paris

Anna was raised in Ridgewood, N.J. and attended Kalamazoo College in Kalamazoo, Mich., where she earned a bachelor’s degree in 2010. For the next 27 months of her life, Anna will live and work in a community in Togo to encourage critical thinking in the classroom, and integrate issues like health education and environmental awareness into English classes.

While serving in Peace Corps has been a dream of hers since her junior year of high school, Anna credits her volunteer experiences with Girls Scouts and studying abroad in Dakar, Senegal with helping her prepare for service the most.

Anna pounds millet with a family in Dakar, Senegal
Anna pounds millet with a family in Dakar, Senegal

Anna joins 88 Volunteers currently on the ground in Togo, working in the areas of education, environment, health, business, and information technology. Volunteers primarily conduct their projects in French, but they are also trained in several different local languages. Globe trotter Anna is looking forward to becoming one of them.

Anna with her proud parents Donna and Bill Williams
Anna with her proud parents Donna and Bill Williams

“While I love to travel, I don’t really care for rushing from place to place. I’ve been very fortunate to be able to live in new countries and appreciate them from a perspective different from that of a tourist. I’ll certainly still be an outsider, but I’m glad to get a deeper understanding of Togo, particularly by learning a local language.”

To learn more about Peace Corps: Togo, click here.

2 thoughts on “Anna Williams: Continuing a Family Tradition

  1. What a miracle that I got to see you by picture. A picture is worth a thousand words, you know. My weekend letter will be in the mail today. We are so proud of you. Every now and then I think to myself–wonder what Anna has to do today? Hope all continues to go well. Lots of love, Grandma Zwiep

  2. I am bursting with pride. What a great article about you and your Peace Corps experience. I have the envelope addressed to write you a letter, but this will arrive sooner! Tulip Time is celebrated this weekend, and I will have to think (and breathe) Dutch for a few days in Orange City, IA. The “Orange” is in memory of William of Orange, a Dutch hero; and it has nothing to do with Florida or oranges. Family news: Your parents, Aunt Mary, and I are going to fly to PaloAlto,
    CA the middle of June for Halsey’s graduation from Stanford .She will continue at Stanford for a masters. Mary will fly with me from CA to IA for a week’s visit. Zoe has a job in San Francisco, and Diana found a job in NYCity in Feb. Dan wrote me a letter that he and Jessica are planning their wedding. My house is for sale in Iowa, and a buyer is interested enough to apply for a bank loan–maybe?? Cousin 1st Lt. Joe, a Ranger, will leave for Afghanistan on June 1. The Miami family are having a big farewell party for him. Your nephew Shane had his first ride on a horse–how about that? Bye for now, Anna. My continued thoughts and prayers are with you all the time. Love you–Grandma Marcia Zwiep.

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