Harrison Heilman, a 2010 graduate of Monmouth College from Downers Grove, has been accepted into the Peace Corps and will move to the Philippines in August.
“I’ve known that I wanted to enroll in the Peace Corps for years,” said Heilman, who earned degrees in political science, Spanish and international studies. “ It has been a dream of mine since I learned about foreign countries in grade school.”
Heilman began his application in September 2009. “The application process is very intensive,” he explained, adding, “There were a number of interviews. I also had to get a complete physical, X-rays and blood tests, as well as get immunizations for polio and tuberculosis.”
Heilman, who is fluent in Spanish, hopes to be placed in the capital city of Manila, where Filipino is the commonly-spoken language. He will be teaching English at the primary, secondary or tertiary level. “It is great to get real-world experience and learn a language that is not well known,” he said. “I’ll be able to get to know the Filipino people and culture on a personal level.”
Following a two-year stay, his career ambitions include working either as a translator for the United Nations or as a foreign service officer for the U.S. Department of State.
While at Monmouth, Heilman was active in student government, swimming, water polo and band. He was also a Scot Ambassador and a member of the Blue Key honor society. Before heading to the Philippines, Heilman is working at Yellowstone National Park this summer.