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Wayzata H.S. Grad Departs for Peace Corps Mission in Ghana

Krysta Litherland will complete technical, language, health and safety training while living with a host family to become fully immersed in the country’s language and culture.

Krysta Litherland, 25 of Plymouth, has been accepted into the U.S. Peace Corps and departed for Ghana Feb. 4 to begin training as a health extension volunteer. Litherland will make a difference by living and working in a community to improve health, water and sanitation.

“I wanted to volunteer with the Peace Corps because I love to help others and wanted to expand my mind,” Litherland said. 

Litherland is the daughter of Mark and Rikka Litherland and a 2005 graduate of Wayzata High School. She graduated from the University of Minnesota Duluth in 2009 with a bachelor’s degree in biology and a chemistry minor. 

“UMD helped me see that there are many aspects to biology and chemistry that related to our everyday life,” Litherland said. “The professors, especially Lyle Shannon, helped me see that I could do anything I put my mind to. The more passion I had in a subject, the better I could understand it.”

During the first three months of her service in Ghana, Litherland will complete technical, language, health and safety training while living with a host family to become fully immersed in the country’s language and culture. The training and cultural exchange prepare Litherland for her two years of service, while also allowing community members to gain a better understanding of Americans. After Litherland is sworn into service and assigned to a community, she will work on sustainable, community-driven development projects that make a difference for the people of Ghana and provide Litherland with leadership and cross-cultural skills she can use throughout her career.

Litherland joins the 233 Minnesota residents currently serving in the Peace Corps. More than 6,287 Minnesota residents have served since the agency was created in 1961.

Since President John F. Kennedy established the Peace Corps by executive order on March 1, 1961, more than 210,000 Americans have served in 139 host countries. Today, 8,073 volunteers are working with local communities in 76 host countries in agriculture, community economic development, education, environment, health and youth in development.

About Peace Corps/Ghana: More than 4,275 Peace Corps volunteers have served in Ghana since the program was established in 1961. Ghana was the first country in the world to receive Peace Corps volunteers. Currently, 149 volunteers serve in Ghana. Volunteers work in the areas of education, environment, agriculture, and health. Volunteers are trained and work in the following languages: Buli, Dagaare, Dagbani, Dangme, Ewe, Fanté, Ga, Ghanaian Sign Language, Gonja, Guruni, Hausa, Kasem, Kusaal, Likipakpaalu, Likpakpaln, Mampruli, Nzema, Sisaali, Taleni, Twi and Waale.

Peace Corps volunteers must be U.S. citizens and at least 18 years of age. Peace Corps service is a 27-month commitment and the agency’s mission is to promote world peace and friendship and a better understanding between Americans and people of other countries.

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