Andy Boston

Leaves Corporate Life for Peace Corps

by Paxton Mittleman
Interviewed by Ryan Drummond

As University of Delaware graduate, Andy Boston, sat down to talk with Ryan Drummond, he marveled that he was even able to get a connection to conduct the podcast.  “There are certain roads that you would need a Lunar Rover to drive on”, Boston laments.

These bad roads provide only a small taste of how different life is in Northeast Uganda, where Boston is currently located in the Peace Corps. Boston feels he is conducting some of the most important work of his life, but is this the type of work he saw himself pursuing as a University of Delaware undergraduate?  Absolutely not.

bostonTeaching

Boston graduated from the University of Delaware with a degree in Criminal Justice and Social Policy, not exactly sure what he wanted to do. After struggling to establish roots in San Diego, Boston moved to Philadelphia and ended up at CareerBuilder, a career search engine site.  Although Boston enjoyed working at CareerBuilder, he felt something was missing, like his work “was not something I genuinely had a passion for”.   What did he have a passion for?  Boston still wasn’t sure.

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So, how exactly did Boston go from CareerBuilder employee to Peace Corps volunteer?  It all started with a couple of Facebook photos Boston saw, posted by a fellow UD alumni in Port-au-Prince, Haiti.  Boston messaged him, asking how he could get involved in the cause.  Soon, Boston was working for celebrity Sean Penn’s organization in Port-au-Prince, helping out at a refugee camp months after the disastrous earthquake hit.  The conditions were awful. As Boston described it, Port-au-Prince was the definition of “a third-world nightmare”. He returned to America and was picked up by his mother to return to first-world comforts. Not long after, he turned around and got on the first plane back. The application to the Peace Corps came soon after, with Sean Penn himself writing Boston a recommendation.

Boston wore many hats during his 2-year stint in Uganda.  He used to work at a radio station, broadcasting four hours a day and educating the Ugandans. He is currently the head coach of a Ugandan lacrosse team that is set to compete in the world championships in Denver, while also reviewing about 12 to 15 projects for the Pollination Project. The Pollination Projects is an organization that donates 1,000 dollars each day to a cause of their choosing.  For example, Boston is reviewing a grant for a girl who wants to build tandem bicycles for blind children.  This is the kind of work that Boston feels is more meaningful than anything he’s ever done; this is the kind of work I wish I had the guts to do!

bostonsLaxSo what is Boston’s advice to the students out there who, like me, are inspired by his story?  If you are even considering something like the Peace Corps, start the application process as soon as possible.  It takes about 18 months to 2 years to actually get an applicant to the country they will work in.  Boston also recommends the Peace Corps for people who consider them self-independent and autonomous. The closest fellow Peace Corps member is 2.5 hours away, after all.  He also forewarns to never underestimate the power of social networking.  He was about to delete his Facebook before he contacted the UD alum in Haiti.  You never know what could happen, the opportunities are endless.

In essence, his advice is: “if you’re thinking about it, just do it.”  You never know, you too could be the coach of a Ugandan lacrosse team and help blind kids know what its like to ride a bike.  Follow in Boston’s footsteps, and make your life meaningful.

Questions, or interested in Boston’s work? Go to www.thepollinationproject.org or email at acboston@gmail.com for details.

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