About Me

If you know me then much of this is "old news". If you have stumbled upon my blog then welcome! I love visitors (and making new friends) and am happy you stopped by! Let me introduce myself: my name is Tija and this is a little about me...

The first time I remember hearing about Peace Corps was in high school. My mom mentioned it was something she had always dreamed of doing so I wanted to learn more about it (besides, it had the word "peace" in it and I am a perpetual flower child). I was captivated by the idea and stored it away as something I may want to do in the future.

I went on to graduate from the University of Washington in Seattle where I studied Psychology and International Studies and then I received a Masters in Public Administration. To further my education, I have completed five certificate programs from USAID, three certificate courses from the United States Institute for Peace, one from the Peace Operations Training Institute, and I am currently working on a Graduate Certificate in Community Development.

For the past four years, I have worked as a Development and Marketing Coordinator for a nonprofit that works in child abuse prevention, family reunification, and parent education and offers assistance programs for at-risk and low-income families. In this position, I wrote proposals to fund fatherhood and parent education programs, I coordinated awareness events and fundraisers, and I facilitated marketing and communication ventures. I also managed our legal clinic, which offers free legal assistance to low-income families. I have enjoyed working in the nonprofit sector and have gained valuable experience that will help me in future positions.

I am an avid traveler. My love for traveling stems from a love of cultures and people. Being able to immerse myself in the lives of others so I can truly understand people is what makes traveling so special and important to me. I have been fortunate enough to have spent much of my life traveling (I have been to Mexico, the Caribbean, Central America, and throughout Europe and the Middle East) and have had the opportunity to live and work with people from all walks of life.

I grew up riding and showing horses. Anyone who knows me can attest - it will always be a part of me.

My little sister is, without a doubt, the funniest person I know and my family means everything to me. I consider my closest friends to be an extension of my family. My dad passed away suddenly on December 23, 2005, which has been the hardest thing I have ever had to deal with. The love and support of so many has eased the pain and has helped me become a stronger person. I would do anything for my family and for my wonderful group of friends. They are my everything.

As I said earlier, since I first heard about Peace Corps, it has lingered in my mind and heart as something I want to do in life. It has taken me a long time to get to the point of making it a reality but I have finally found some resolve and I am ready. I have learned that we gain strength through our battles and understanding with patience. If we are able to persevere and keep our hearts and our minds open then we are more in tune with who we are and with the world around us. I strive to be the best person I can be and to leave the world a better place than when I entered it. Whatever I do in life, I hope to be at peace with that in the end. And that is why, after all this time, I am taking the plunge and have joined the Peace Corps.