Jess Womack

Jess Womack

UCLA Affiliation: N/A
Country of Service: Kenya

I was a member of an agricutural group serving as agricultural extension agents to large scele (400– 2000 acres) farms. Our job was assiting new African farmers learn commercial farming skills.

I have often said that I still consider Peace Corps the best thing I have done. It made me a citizen of the world,and it also made me a better American.
It made me a citizen of the world because I encountered so much diversity in Kenya, a county of many nationalities (tribes) who were seeking to find a new collective, unifying identiy as Kenyans while being true to their tribal roots. It was also a place where Africa, Asis and Europe met in a post colonial arena. I met and saw the common humanity in all of them. Kenya taught me that.

It also made me a better American because I, a black American, became comfortable with my African heritage which made me more comfortable in my own skin and hence someone able to see my own country through a more complex and less symetrical lens.

I made life long friendships, gained a wealth of first hand knowledge about everything from how coffee is grown to why the Serengeti Plain is so important.
I learned much about myself that made me a better person. It was a time of great learning that serves me well today.

I will be happy work in a volunteer capacity. I am a post retirement attorney in LA.

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