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Local Bismarck volunteer among first to return overseas with Peace Corps

Published: May. 21, 2022 at 2:17 PM CDT
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BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) - A University of Mary alum, living in Bismarck, is among the first members of Peace Corp to return overseas after the agency evacuated all of its volunteers at the start of the coronavirus pandemic in 2020.

After a long wait, Blaine Cronrath from Bismarck has finally landed in St. Lucia to begin his duties with the Peace Corp.

“So just last year I put in an application with the Peace Corps, went through my interview process and they accepted me for one of the first missions back out into the field,” said Cronrath.

Cronrath is among the first Peace Corps volunteers to return overseas after an unprecedented evacuation in 2020 where the agency evacuated 7,000 members from 60 counties at the start of the pandemic.

After working in the department of corrections over the past few years, Cronrath can’t wait to hit the ground running on his mission.

“Life after working in a prison for nine years, I just really developed a passion to serve. And so my motivations now are really about being able to take some of the skills I have and apply those skills, give those skills and those gifts to a community that can benefit from them, " said Cronrath.

Cronrath is stationed in St. Lucia.

“So the primary focus of our service is to increase the reading rates. Kindergarten through third-grade students only about 15% of the third-grade students here actually read at grade level,” said Cronrath.

Cronrath says he is excited to immerse himself in the community and culture and make a difference.

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