Madison House Alumni Council Names 2016 Alum of the Year

The Madison House Alumni Council has named Julia Shafer (member of the U.Va. Class of 2012) as its Alum of the Year! We asked Julia to share a little about herself and how service has been a part of her life since graduating from the University of Virginia:

"Manahoana! My name is Julia and I graduated from UVA in 2012 with a degree in Foreign Affairs.

I am currently a second year Education Volunteer in Madagascar with Peace Corps. I live in a small town about 60 miles south of the capital, Antananarivo, in the chilly highlands. I teach English to kids of all ages, from tiny primary school kids up through adults at a private school. Outside of teaching English, I led a GLOW (Girls Leading Our World) camp to help empower young girls in my community to become leaders. Some of the girls that attended the camp had never left our small town before so it was an exciting week. Outside of teaching and the GLOW camp, life is very laid back in my town. I spend a lot of time talking with people at the market, helping my friend at her soup shop, and exploring the big red island. If you ever get a chance put Madagascar on your must visit list. Yes, there are plenty of lemurs, but there is also so much more to see.

My two years of service with Peace Corps is quickly coming to an end (very hard to believe). I will be leaving Madagascar in August of this year. While I am unsure what my immediate future holds when I return to the United States, I eventually would like to return to school and get a masters in school counseling to continue working with kids and help them better navigate their future. If anyone is interested in learning more about being a volunteer with Peace Corps I am happy to speak with you!"

You also read more about Julia's time with the Peace Corps in this article from UVA Today.

[Image details: Julia with a group of her students via UVA Today]