Returned Peace Corps Volunteers Take Next Step With Trees for the Future

tftf_logoMajority of nonprofit’s staff, including founder, work in the countries where they served
Silver Spring, Md. — Trees for the Future, a leading nonprofit organization providing economic opportunity and improving livelihoods worldwide through seed distribution and agroforestry training, is staffed in large part by former Peace Corps Volunteers. The majority of its employees work in countries where they previously served, training locals in agroforestry and managing other education programs.

“The Peace Corps has been like a finishing school for Trees for the Future’s staff,” said founder Dave Deppner. “It takes fresh-faced college graduates and gives them the training and experience they need to understand a country’s political and economic challenges. From there, they are well-positioned to take a full-time job with us or a similar nonprofit.”

Deppner’s experience with the Peace Corps began with his time volunteering in the Philippines. Other staffers include: Ethan Budiansky, who served in Senegal and now manages projects throughout West Africa; Jeff Follett, who served in Suriname and now heads the organization’s efforts in Brazil; Cathie Bukowskiand Josh Bogart, who both served in Honduras and now manage projects in Central America; David Tye, who served in Tanzania and now manages the organization’s East Africa programs; and Gabriel Buttram, who served in Lesotho and now works as Trees for the Future’s Ethiopia coordinator.

The job training provided by the Peace Corps is often overlooked, Deppner argued. Now, as the Peace Corps celebrates its 50th anniversary, he said that people should consider the benefits it provides to American nonprofits and even for-profit businesses working overseas.

“For many Americans, the Peace Corps is their passport to the world,” he said. “When they return, volunteers carry with them the lessons they learned - and more importantly, the insight they gained. This is an invaluable asset, whether they go into the business world or work for a nonprofit. To put it simply, the Peace Corps is an international job-training program hiding in plain sight.”

About Trees for the Future
Headquartered in Silver Spring, Md. and founded in 1989, Trees for the Future is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization helping communities around the world plant trees. Through seed distribution, sustainable management and agroforestry training, and in-country technical assistance, it empowers rural groups worldwide to restore tree cover to their lands, protect the environment and help to preserve traditional livelihoods and cultures for generations. To learn more visit their site.

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