Recent grad uses international relations skills to develop bank through Peace Corps
In May of 2012, Kaitlyn Schroeder graduated from Lake Forest College with a major in international relations and minors in economics and Spanish. A few months later, the Peace Corps sent her to a small town in northwestern Dominican Republic as a community development officer.
Schroeder works with 15 women’s health groups on income generation activities, home finances, and small business development and management. Together they are working to create a community bank to promote savings and facilitate investment in micro-enterprises. She also advises youth groups on HIV/AIDS prevention and teaches a business course on entrepreneurship and an English language course to Spanish speakers.
Since her first year at Lake Forest, Schroeder knew she wanted to pursue a career in international development, and she credits her academic training in politics, economics, and sociology and anthropology for making her a well-informed person and an effective development worker.
She also attributes her success to two Lake Forest College internships. One was with a non-profit organization during her semester abroad in Grenada, Spain. The other was with the US Fund for UNICEF in Chicago, as part of her participation in the College’s In The Loop Program.
“These experiences gave me the edge I needed to win a placement with the Peace Corps in the development field,” she says. “I’m doing what I set out to do, and I am challenged and learning new things everyday.”