RPCVLA Summer 2014 Newsletter




With Fall approaching comes natural changes. We’ve seen members of our Board transition and head out-of-state for graduate school, for instance. As we bid farewell to our fearless Board members, Alison Thieme, Events Coordinator and Dina Navar, Co-Vice President, we thank them (ever so profusely) for making this Board better and stronger.

Fall also provides us an opportunity to seek your input and guidance: our newsletters are a means to stay connected with one another. So, got a funny transition story back to the U.S. that a group like us would inherently appreciate? Or how about a social or community service event that you would like us to know about? Please check out the “Call for Submissions” section for more details on how to contribute!

In the meantime, spread the word: we are less than 3 months away from our Annual International Dinner! On Saturday, November 8th, PCVs past, present, and future will gather for an evening of celebration, networking, and dining on international cuisine (can we even top last year’s amazing potluck?). 

Journey on,
Tai Sunnanon


RPCVLA Pro Bono Services

Want to get more active in the RPCVLA community?
RPCVLA is launching our very own Pro Bono Services that matches returned Peace Corps volunteers with organizations in the LA Area who are in need of more professional volunteer support. 

The idea for this program came from Chris McKee, RPCVLA board member, who wanted to volunteer his video production experience and meet more prospective clients. 
We are excited to announce that Chris completed our first Pro Bono Service Project by creating a video for API Equality-LA to help them re-brand and raise awareness for immigration reform and greater acceptance of LGBT people. 

Eileen Ma, Executive Director of API Equality – LA, wrote to Chris that “It was our great fortune to have had the opportunity to work with you. On behalf of everyone here, thank you for generously sharing your time and skills with us to create the wonderful video.”

Pro bono project requirements
  • Must serve the community
  • Must raise cross cultural awareness or advance international development
  • Can last from a couple of weeks to a few months
Know of an organization that could benefit? Interested in offering your skills? We already have organizations looking for help in graphic design, website development, app development, and fundraising events. 

Email activities@RPVCLA.org

We hope you will help spread the word about this great and exciting program!


Interested in public policy and advocacy? With congressional representatives on recess until September 8, now is the time to visit them in their district offices and promote support for the Peace Corps.

 Interested?  Contact Lisa Hart

Outgoing RPCVLA Vice President Dina Navar with Congresswoman Judy Chu’s staff at her district office


The Mentoring Program connects RPCV mentors with newly returned RPCV mentees in order to help with the transition back to the states. Since January 2014, the LA Mentoring Task Force has hosted 4 Mentoring Socials around Greater LA to promote Mentor registration and participation in this program. 

Feel like a fish out of water? If your COS date was less than a year ago, you are eligible to receive a mentor. Select RPCVLA to be matched with someone locally.  Mentee application

Mentorship is a rewarding experience. In fact, nearly 100% of the mentors in the pilot program said they’d participate again.

We are looking for a spokesperson to articulate the values and benefits of participating in NPCA’s Mentoring Program.  Having a spokesperson to attest to the program’s benefits is vital to our continued success. If you are interested please reply directly to Lindy Lindeman or leave a message at 424-832-8484. We are interested in meeting candidates in late August.

Former mentoring spokeswoman, Dina Navar, initially joined the program as a mentee and requested a lawyer with international affairs experience as a mentor. Her mentor helped her readjust and gave her insight into the international affairs realm. With her mentor’s encouragement, Dina applied and was accepted into law school at American University in Washington, DC. Though RPCVLA is sad to see Dina go, we are proud of her and want to thank her for her service.

Dina Navar and some members of the Mentoring Committee


Peace Corps Application Process Changes

The Peace Corps recently made sweeping changes to the application process. Now candidates can search open Volunteer positions on the website, choose the programs and countries they want to apply to, and do so through a shorter application (takes less than 1 hour)!

Questions? Please check out the discussion on the RPCVLA Facebook page or email PC LA liaison: Alex Garcia (310-356-1105)


8/23: Volunteer Trail Work & Bridge Repair

When: Saturday, August 23rd from 8am – 12pm 
What: Help fix trails at Paramount Ranch in Agoura Hill in preparation for Rec Fest, a program that introduces LA youth and their families to recreation activities in parks.
Where: 2903 Cornell Road, Agoura Hills, CA 91301
Contact: Heather Schultz, 908-798-9465


9/5: Remarks and Reception with PC Director Carrie Hessler-Radelet and Congressman Alan Lowenthal 

When: Friday, September 5th at 11am
What: Discussion about Peace Corps with Director Carrie Hessler-Radelet and Congressman Alan Lowenthal, light lunch to follow 
Where: California State University, Long Beach (Beach Auditorium), 1250 Bellflower Blvd, Long Beach, CA 90840
Contact: Alex Garcia310-356-1105

9/20: Service Project with Enrich LA

When: Saturday, September 20th from 9am – 1pm
What: Service project
Where: El Sereno Middle School, 2839 N Eastern Avenue, LA, CA 90032
Contact: Alex Garcia310-356-1105

 For more info, check out this video about Enrich LA

9/20: TGIS at Silvio’s Brazilian BBQ

When: Saturday, September 20th at 5:30 PM
What: BBQ and watching the sun set on the pier
Where: 20 Pier Ave. Hermosa Beach, CA 90254 
Contact: RSVP to Marcy Morita, 310-705-9417

Silvio’s Website 

9/21: Hollywood Bowl – SOLD OUT!!!

When: Sunday, September 21st at 7pm
What: Concert featuring Caetano Veloso, Andrew Bird, and Devendra Banhart
Where: 2301 North Highland Avenue, Los Angeles
Contact: Miki Shaler if you would like to be added to the wait list if tickets become available.  

More Info

9/27: Peace Corps Documentary 

When: Saturday, September 27th from 1-4pm
What: Peace Corps South Africa Documentary screening with RPCVs Alan Toth (director) and Socorra Camposanto (musician)
Where: TBD
Contact: Alex Silvester, 213-700-2333

10/18: Homeboy Industries 5K

When: Saturday, October 18th at 7:30am
What: 5K Walk/Run to support the largest gang rehabilitation charity in the world
Where: 130 W. Bruno Street, LA, CA 90012
Contact: Heather Schultz, 908-798-9465

Registration  (Team & password: RPCVLA)

11/8: Annual International Dinner

When: Saturday, November 8th, cocktails at 5pm, dinner at 6pm
What: RPCVLA’s annual international dinner
Where: Neighborhood Unitarian Universalist Church, 301 North Orange Grove Boulevard, Pasadena, CA 91103 
Contact: Jane Renahan, 213-304-7141





RPCVLA is looking for member contributions for our next newsletter, which will be out mid-October. Have a good story? Interested in being interviewed about your Peace Corps experience? Have a great Peace Corps recipe to share? 

Email marketing@rpcvla.org by September 17th and we will do our best to work it into an upcoming newsletter.  

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