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Volunteer There and Here

Abby Borst brings her experience as a Peace Corps volunteer to her UT studies as a Coverdell Fellow in Social Work.

“Volunteerism has such a special place in my heart,” Borst says. “I came for a visit, loved UT’s campus, and really enjoyed meeting the professors. I just got a good vibe.”

Borst spent two years in Panama as a Peace Corps volunteer before enrolling at UT in fall 2015.

In Panama, Borst worked to understand how the availability of basic resources, namely water and food, affected the people. The community she worked in was rural, without paved roads, reliable electricity, or Internet service.

After returning to the United States, Borst’s search for a social work program that participates in the Peace Corps’ national Paul D. Coverdell Fellows Program led her to UT’s College of Social Work.

She is the first student in the college to pursue a graduate degree through the Coverdell Fellowship.

“The personal benefits of volunteering in Panama and now pursuing my degree at UT are too many to count,” she says.

The Coverdell Program allows returning volunteers to continue using their skills adapting to new cultures, leading and managing projects, overcoming barriers, and doing a lot with limited resources.

Volunteer Stories