By Alana Bremner
Margaret Persons’ family is committed to service. She spent years of her childhood in Jamaica while her father served as director of the Peace Corps for the Jamaican office. Her mother and father both served the Peace Corps in different locations in the 1970s. Her older sister currently serves the Peace Corps in the southern province of Zambia. While Persons has no plans to join the Peace Corps, she credits the organization for her love of travel and service.
Persons has lived in the United States and Japan. She has visited Zambia, Ethiopia, Greece, France, Switzerland, Belgium, Honduras, Puerto Rico, Aruba, The Bahamas and Dominican Republic.
Most recently, she ventured to Zambia to visit her sister. Persons found herself fully immersed in the Zambian culture. She stayed in her sister’s village with no electricity or running water. She ate Zambian foods like maize, camel and even bugs. Certain bugs are considered delicacies in Zambia.
“The country is breathtaking,” Persons said. “I was fortunate enough to visit Victoria Falls and go on a safari.”
Some experiences were eye-opening. Persons recalls children on the streets begging for money and an abundance of unfinished construction projects because money ran out. Visiting the school where her sister teaches was something of a shock.
“We were able to see the school where my sister teaches and meet all of her students,” Persons said. “It was such a rewarding experience to see how much she is loved by the kids she’s working so hard to educate.”
Persons sees the immense positive impact her family members have made on the world as members of the Peace Corps. This organization is the very reason she has such a passion for travel and service. So why isn’t she joining the Peace Corps? She’s forging her own path.
Persons, a senior at the University of South Carolina, will graduate with a degree in public relations and psychology. She is an active member of Alpha Delta Pi, a sorority dedicated to serving Ronald McDonald House, its philanthropic partner. She plans to use her degree and experience to serve others after graduation. Her goal is to work in the public relations department of a nonprofit organization.
“Even though I don’t want to join the Peace Corps, I’ve always been grateful for what I have and want to help those less fortunate,” Persons said. “With my skills, I strongly believe I will have the greatest impact in the public relations department of a nonprofit organization.”
Bremner is a senior studying public relations.