East Bay Executive Joins Peace Corps
Jul. 14, 2007 (KGO) (KGO) -- Sick of the work-a-day grind? The Peace Corps, once the bastion of the young and the idealistic, is now looking for the middle-aged and idealistic.
Today is 66-year-old John Doolittle's last day on the job.
John Dolittle: "It's been an absolute pleasure."
After 16 years as a director of financial compliance for Kaiser Foundation research
On Monday - Doolittle begins his journey to South Africa - where he'll likely work as a consultant to non governmental organizations battling the aids pandemic.
John Doolittle, Director of Finance Compliance: "I kind of feel South Africa is the big leagues for the Peace corp. and the AIDS is certainly the big league issue and in a way, I'm quite happy it's worked out this way."
Fewer than four hundred of the Peace Corps' nearly 8000 volunteers are over 50. The peace Corp is fighting a stereotype of accepting only 20 something volunteers strong enough to dig a well and live in a hut.
Nick Bosustow, Peace Corp. Recruiter: I think the problem is people think if you're over 26 you can't get into the peace crop.
Northern California Peace Corp recruiter Nick Bosustow was 60 when he joined, after a career as an academy award winning animator.
Nick Bosustow, Peace Corp. Recruiter: The Peace Corp realizes people over 50 bring a whole different dimension to Peace Corp, life experience, maturity."
Education, managerial skills and human resource skills; the kinds of skills the third world needs to set up an infrastructure equal to the challenge of underdevelopment.
For Doolittle, there's no apprehension about heading off into the unknown.
John Doolittle: "No, not at all I've flown without a net before."
He's worked and traveled all over the world throughout his life, and at 66 - he has the hindsight to understand the best time, was the time he gave to others.
John Doolittle: "My first job out of college was a volunteer job, much like the Peace Corp a volunteer agency working in Laos, and those were some of the best years of my life. I remember those early years and gave me a chance to bookend my career and I just want to do it again."
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