Owensboro native Daniel Martell is set to make the 7,740-mile trek to Uganda to serve with the Peace Corps next month. His primary efforts are within the Uganda Primary Literacy Project, where he will teach English to primary students in the rural areas of the country.
Martell, who is a 2015 graduate of Daviess County High School and recent graduate from Transylvania University in earned his degree in International Affairs and Classics. He is hopeful this experience will allow him to help others while preparing him for a future career in foreign services and diplomacy.
Additionally, he looks forward to expanding his knowledge of cultures around the world and hopes that his efforts will encourage others to follow suit. In joining the Peace Corps, he selected the ‘Send me Anywhere’ option rather than handpicking a specific location because it helped to expedite the process.
“Joining the Peace Corps is a long process,” he said. “This will be a great opportunity for me to give back to those in need and allow me to further my understanding of the world. I also look forward to the many professional development opportunities.”
Martell will land in Kampala, the capital city of Uganda, on Nov. 1. While there, he will participate in three months of intense training where he will learn the native language of Uganda in addition to the tribal language spoken at his placement. Placements are determined by examining each volunteer’s background but are generally rural in nature.
Once the training is complete and his placement is determined, he will embark on a 24-month journey of teaching English as a second language. Martell said the task will be daunting, seeing as the majority of his students have no experience with the English language.
“I’m looking forward to the challenge and making a difference in the lives of individuals,” he said. “I’m hoping to make connections and form relationships that last a lifetime.”
Upon returning to the states, Martell plans on applying for and beginning law school. He is hoping his experience in Uganda will enhance his resume and propel him to a career in international law, something he’s dreamed of for quite some time.
While in Uganda, he will live with a host family that will provide him with the most basic necessities. The Peace Corps relies solely on volunteers but what they do offer far exceeds any amount of money.
“This is a volunteer opportunity and I know the Peace Corps needs all the help they can get,” he said. “I look for this experience to be meaningful and life-changing.”