Thomas William Pauza, 24, has been accepted into the Peace Corps and departed for South Africa on July 2 to begin training as a Peace Corps volunteer. Pauza will live and work in a community to assist in areas of need.
Pauza says he joined the Peace Corps because he wanted “to contribute something new and permanent that will enrich the lives of others.”
Pauza, the son of Jeff and Patty Pauza and a graduate of Champlain Valley Union, attended Montana State University (MSU) in Bozeman, Mont., where he earned a Bachelor of Science in sociology in 2012.
During the first three months of his service, Pauza will live with a host family in South Africa to become fully immersed in the country’s language and culture. After acquiring the language and cultural skills necessary to assist his community, Pauza will be sworn into service and be assigned to a community in South Africa, where he will live and work for two years with the local people.
“Studying sociology at MSU gave me a greater understanding of the disparities in the world and inspired me to want to try and do something positive about it,” he said.
Pauza joins the 45 Vermont residents currently serving in the Peace Corps and more than 1,453 Vermont residents who have served in the Peace Corps since 1961.