We need our Colorado Peace Corps community to help us out! We are working to get the Colorado legislature to approve an official Peace Corps license plate and need 3000 signatures to do so. Sign up here, and please forward to your friends and family who are Colorado residents and have them sign!

1.  You have to be a Colorado resident

2.  Please include your full name!

Tuesday, 08 September 2015 01:05

Welcome Wagon News

The next Welcome Wagon dinner will be Saturday October 24 from 4-7 PM.  This is for RPCVs who have recently returned from service or recently moved to Colorado to meet others who are new to the area.  Please for more information.
The Welcome Wagon Action Team will also be hosting smaller meet-up events at businesses (coffee shops, ice cream shops, etc) around town.  This will be an opportunity to sit down with fewer people in a quieter setting but also still for RPCVs new to Colorado.  They will be posted on the website for people to sign up.  If there is an area where there are newly returned RPCVs and no meet-ups planned for that location, email to suggest a new loaction!


Tuesday, 08 September 2015 01:02

Northern Colorado RPCV News

Hello RPCVs of northern Colorado,

Another semester has begun and I am happy to announce I'm still serving as the Peace Corps Representative at CSU!  
First off, I think it would be fun to get together for drinks next Friday Sept 11th at 5 pm at the Equinox Brewery(133 Remington St. until around 8 pm. How does that sound? I promise to try and host a more family friendly event later this semester (maybe another attempt at the City Park Potluck) and then at least one more in the spring. 
This semester I am looking for RPCVs to help present their experiences at 3 events. Two Information Meetings on campus in the Morgan Library Event Hall from 5 - 7 pmOctober 9th and November 18th.  
Plus we will have another event, likely October 28th, off campus that I am going to attempt to make Halloween themed. I'm looking for people that can share scary/ghost/folk stories or cultural aspects from their host country. What do you think? 
Please email me if you are interested in helping out with any of these events!
Also, another RPCV, Amy Healy, is looking for help with presenting about living international at Fossil Ridge High SchoolNovember 23rd and 24th. I've attached a document with more information about the event and her contact information. Please get in touch with her if you are willing to help out.
If you want to be removed from this email list or have suggestions of RPCVs that should be added please send me an email. I hope you all are doing well. Take care,

Tomas Pickering
RPCV Malawi 2010 - 2012
Peace Corps Campus Representative
Office: Laurel Hall 102H
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Wednesday, 08 July 2015 02:22

Speakers Bureau Update

Sometimes the RPCVs of Colorado are contacted by community groups or schools looking for RPCVs to share about their service.  Please complete this form or e-mail your name, country of service and times that you are generally available to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  if you are interested in being contacted for speaking opportunities when they come up:

If you are interested in having an RPCV come and speak at your event or school, complete this form or e-mail your request

to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

At the 2015 Peace Corps Connect conference, Rep. Sam Farr (CA – District 20, Columbia 1964-66) asked that all Peace Corps supporters take action and advocate on behalf of Peace Corps. Rep. Farr challenged us all to become better advocates and to speak with elected officials about Peace Corps. His challenge included:

  • Connect with your member of congress via phone, email or during in person meetings. These methods all provide opportunities to ensure members of Congress understand why continued, robust funding for Peace Corps is critical.
  • Hold your elected officials accountable. Did you reach out to ask your Senator or Representative to vote in favor of particular legislation impacting Peace Corps? If they did vote in favor, follow up with them and say “thank you!” If they didn’t vote in favor, let them know that you’re disappointed they couldn’t support that particular legislation and you hope they’ll change their vote in the future.
  • Find a message style you are comfortable with. When sending calls to action, NPCA usually includes sample text. Use that text and make it your own. Rep. Farr provided examples ranging from the basic: “I was in the Peace Corps and it was the best experience I’ve ever had. It needs more money. I will be watching your vote.” To the more complex comparisons of spending for Peace Corps versus spending on other investments abroad or emphasizing that Peace Corps is about jobs and helping Americans work.
  • “Make the political system watch and listen to us”. Rep. Farr encouraged connecting with and responding to calls for action from the NPCA. He drew the comparison to the oft cited example of the advocacy power that the National Rifle Association (NRA) wields. With members scattered across the U.S. who are willing to be vocal about their beliefs, the NRA is able to send a call to action that results in thousands reaching out to Congress. Rep. Farr said that if the more than 240,000 PCVs and RPCVs, as well as families and friends, responded to calls to action in support of Peace Corps, this would rival the NRA’s advocacy power.

Interested in accepting Rep. Farr’s challenge? You’ll have a great opportunity this August! The RPCVs of Colorado are working to set up meetings with the Colorado congressional delegation. Colorado. Contact me, Suzanne Smith, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you want to participate in or lead one of these meetings. Watch for notification of scheduled meetings on the RPCVs of Colorado website and let me know if you plan to join.

During Peace Corps Connect NPCA and Rep. Farr shared a few other updates:

  • President Obama’s budget request included $410 million for Peace Corps for FY2016, which is October 1, 2015 to September 30, 2016. This would be an increase of $30 million over the current funding level.
  • The House Appropriations Committee is recommending level funding Peace Corps at just under $380 million, but the Senate Appropriations Committee could still support the President’s funding request. Advocates are encouraged to reach out to
  • NPCA is examining if it is possible to change the current non-competitive eligibility to five years or to allow for a delay in use.
  • A location for the Peace Corps commemorative has been found near the National Mall in Washington, D.C. The design competition just closed and is being judged currently. According to Glenn Blumhorst, President of the NPCA, the goal is to choose a commemorative that “captures the ideas and spirt, the part of the American spirit…that brought us into service” and it is an opportunity to celebrate service, not just memorialize the impact of war or those who are now dead. Legislation for the commemorative passed last year.

Check out NPCA’s website for more information related to advocacy:

Saturday, 02 May 2015 01:20

Annual Meeting- Wednesday, May 20 7:00pm

Please join us on Wednesday, May 20 at 7pm for our annual meeting of 2015!  The RPCVs of Colorado will welcome the City and County of Denver’s Chief Sustainability Officer, Jerry Tinianow

Mayor Hancock's Office of Sustainability, led by Jerry Tinianow, addresses economic and community sustainability initiatives in order to help lead Denver toward greater security in an ever-changing global economy. As part of this effort, the office has established 2020 Sustainability Goals for the City and County of Denver, as well as the community-at-large in 12 resources areas, including: air quality, climate change, energy, food, health, housing, land use, materials, mobility, water quality and quantity, and workforce. Jerry will provide an overview of these goals, particularly related to those affecting our focus on food security, and answer questions.

Our May 20, 2015 meeting will also serve as our annual meeting for the year. Prior to Jerry's talk, we'll have a review of RPCVCO activities for the year and vote on new Board members.


Location:         DOWNING STREET GRILL



Wednesday, 07 January 2015 03:34

Treasurer Update

The RPCVs of Colorado continue to serve our communities both home and abroad through service projects and networking events.  We also continue to serve the communities of current Peace Corps Volunteers by funding grant requests to implement in their service.  As of the end of September of 2014, the RPCVCO financial accounts have the following balances:

General Operating Fund (for use in paying general operating expenses): $3,786.60

Don Curtis Fund (for use in funding projects): $4,391.19

Ski Trip Fund (for use in paying the deposit for the annual ski trip): $117.12

These funds added together indicate that the RPCVs of Colorado have a total of $8,294.91 in the group's checking account.

During the year there are a number of activities which draw on the General Operating Fund.  Here are a few of the changes we have made for the upcoming year (as approved by the Board of Directors in July, 2014)      

              1) Continue to have Welcome Home Dinners twice per year for newly returned volunteers as a way of connecting them with other returned volunteers.  We are grateful to the Welcome Wagon volunteers for offering their homes as venue for these events, and for accepting the Board approved reimbursements of up to $75 per dinner.  We know that you put so much more into these events than we can repay you for - - thank you!

              2) Action committees:  Last year the RPCVCO Board approved action committees for both the Welcome Wagon and the Social Committees.  The RPCVCO Board is happy to cover the cost of the group members' coffee during these meetings as they plan events a few times a year.

              3) End of year garden supervisor party - The RPCVs of Colorado continue to collaborate with Grow Local Colorado and community volunteer groups to maintain a vegetable garden in Civic Center park.  The vegetables from the garden are donated to the Gathering Place, Denver's only daytime drop-in center for women, children and transgender individuals who are experiencing poverty or homelessness.  This annual thank you party for the garden supervisors asks a maximum of $150 from the general operating fund.  Thank you volunteers!  You can learn more about Grow Local Colorado and The Gathering Place by visiting their websites at

            4) Country Night: The RPCVCO regular meetings highlight a country or region of service a few times throughout the year.  Once again, we are grateful for RPCVs who assist in presenting and preparing a small taste of the food from the country or region being highlighted.  These meetings, which take place 4 times a year, result in a maximum of $100 total expense from the General Operating Fund as reimbursements for the food cost. 

The Don Curtis Fund is used to provide funds to currently serving Peace Corps Volunteers so they can better implement their projects.  The money from our annual calendar sales contributes to this fund, as do the specified generous donations of our group members, and the fund has continued to grow from year to year.  Help us to spend these funds by letting any currently serving PCVs know they can request funds from the RPCVCO group for their overseas projects by applying for a grant on our website:  The RPCVCO Board is grateful to be able to support the currently serving volunteers in this way.

The Ski Trip is expanding!  Due to popular demand this year's annual ski trip will now have 2 cabins instead of one!  This means that more RPCVs and families are able to celebrate together over this fun weekend at YMCA of the Rockies.  This activity continues to be a self-sustaining activity with the RPCVCO Ski Trip Fund acting as a holding place or pass through account so we can pay the following year's deposit to YMCA of the Rockies in a timely manner prior to collecting the funds from the participants.  Details about this year's ski trip are included in this newsletter.

Questions about this year's Board approved budget, or about the financial cost of any specific RPCVCO activity, can be directed to Brian Palmeri, RPCVCO Board This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Wednesday, 07 January 2015 03:33

Be a Judge for World Affairs Challenge

Each year dozens of local teachers and professionals join us at the World Affairs Challenge as judges.  Their role is essential to the success of the WAC in meeting our goal of fostering life long learners.  Judges don’t only grade team presentations and collaborative questions. They end up learning a lot themselves!

Based on your feedback over the past several years, input from community judges, universities, and global companies, we have made some important changes:

The judging criteria for WAC will be modified to focus more heavily on rewarding 21st Century Skills of critical thinking, problem-solving, collaboration, cultural awareness, and communication, all essential skills for tomorrow’s workers and leaders.

New judging criteria will be added to recognize the diversity of presentations, providing a more level judging field.

As always, serving as a judge is a purely voluntary effort. There is no registration cost. Coffee, breakfast, and lunch are complimentary. Judges will have the opportunity to spend the day interacting with fellow community leaders and volunteers, local NGOs, and our future leaders and problem solvers!

Judges must be available to stay for all of the judging portions of the event (8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.)

Judges are strongly encouraged to attend judge training:

February 5th and 9th, 2015
6:00 - 7:00 p.m.
At the Posner Center for International Development 
1031 33rd Street, Denver CO 80205 

To sign up, visit the World Affairs Challenge website here:

Wednesday, 07 January 2015 03:31

January Advocacy Update

On Tuesday, Dec. 16, 2014, President Obama signed the appropriations bill to fund most the government for the remained of fiscal year (FY) 2015, which goes until Sept. 1, 2015. Congress will still need to pass a final appropriations bill for Homeland Security, which will operate under a continuing resolution till Feb. 27, 2015. The final appropriation bill signed by President Obama for FY2015 totals $1.1 trillion and includes funding for Peace Corps.

Along with funding for Peace Corps, the passage of the appropriations bill included corrective language to implement the provisions set forth in the Peace Corps Equity Act (S. 2291; H.R. 4578). The Peace Corps Equity Act is designed to support female Peace Corps Volunteers in the same manner as other individuals serving overseas, by supporting the PCV if she seeks to terminate a pregnancy in the rare instances of rape, incest or life endangerment. The National Peace Corps Association (NCPA) has been leading efforts to pass the Peace Corp Equity Act for two years, which also had the support of the Peace Corps agency and the Obama administration. More information can be found in this NPCA press release. Supporters of Peace Corps are encouraged to send a thank you to members of Congress who led efforts to pass the Peace Corps Equity. Information on how to send these thank you messages can be found here.

Now that funding for Peace Corps for FY2015 has been secured, the focus will turn to advocating for increased funding for Peace Corps in FY2016. Supporters of Peace Corps can participate in these advocacy efforts by responding to any calls to action from the NPCA. As well, the National Day of Advocacy is Thursday, March 5, 2015, and is an opportunity for individuals to come together to meet with members of Congress in person to talk about the importance of Peace Corps and request continued and robust funding for Peace Corps. Unable to fly to Washington, D.C., to participate in person? Advocates can still participate on March 5 by emailing and calling members of Congress. More information on all of NPCA’s advocacy work can be found at:

Wednesday, 10 September 2014 18:29

Did you Serve in the Eastern Caribbean?

Would you like to share about your country of service?

Did you serve in the Eastern Caribbean?

Do you enjoy public speaking and/ or cooking for others?

If you answered yes to these questions then the RPCVs of Colorado are asking for your help!  Every few months a portion of our regular meeting is dedicated to sharing some information about (and eating to food of) one of the Peace Corps regions of the world.  The Eastern Caribbean post will be highlighted on Wednesday, November 19th, and we are looking to dive into the culture, music, food, traditions, history, geography, economics - whatever excites you - about the islands of the Eastern Caribbean.  Of course you can also throw in your favorite story or memory from your service!  If you are interested in preparing and presenting a 5-8 minute portion of the information on one or more of the Eastern Caribbean islands, - or if you'd like to prepare a small sample of island food for fellow members to try out - please contact Brian Palmeri at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .  

For those not interested in helping out, but would like to learn more about the EC post, be sure to come to the next regular meeting on Wednesday, November 19th at 7:00 PM.  We'll be meeting at the First Unitarian Society - 1400 Lafayette Street, Denver, CO 80218.  If you do, you'll be sure to walk out having a greater sense of what it's like to serve in a country 1/6 the size of the state of Delaware.

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