ALUMNI SPOTLIGHT: Michaela Dreeszen

ALUMNI SPOTLIGHT: Michaela Dreeszen
ALUMNI SPOTLIGHT: Michaela Dreeszen

Name: Michaela Dreeszen
Major: Global Studies
Minors: Political Science, Spanish, Human Rights and Humanitarian Affairs, and Latin American Studies

On and off campus involvement: ESL tutor with Lincoln Literacy.

Current Position:
I am currently living in The Kingdom of Tonga and it is a chain of islands in the South Pacific. I am serving as an English Language Facilitator where I work with local Tongan teachers in their classrooms doing English lessons for primary and secondary school age kids.

I applied for the Peace Corps because the world is small and I wanted to make it smaller (typical GLST student). Peace Corps has given me a chance to use my skills and training to work on substantial projects and work with different cultures ethically. The literacy project here in Tonga helps students as they pass their entrance exams into high school and college, usually in New Zealand, Australia, and the United States.

I am living on the main island, Tongatapu, but will be placed on site in November which could be on one of the outer islands. Peace Corps has a long history and good relationship with the schools in Tonga because having a native English speaker in the classroom has been very helpful for the students. I’m living with a host family and learning the Tongan language and culture daily. My favorite Tongan words are fakamolemole (sorry) and moa (chicken & boyfriend). Tongan culture is very welcoming and the Kingdom was never colonized so the traditions and family lines run deep in every aspect of their society.

Advice for Global Studies students: My advice to students looking to apply is to talk to as many Peace Corps Volunteers and Returning Peace Corps Volunteers as you can to hear good and bad experiences and understand service is different for everyone. It’s important to match your skills to the job or region you’re applying for to make you the strongest candidate. Any recruiter will be able to help you modify your resume or find a placement that would fit you! (Nebraska is wildly underrepresented so go apply!!!)

Go Peace Corps! Here’s pictures of me teaching a class and my host sister and I in traditional puletaha.

To find out how to become involved with Lincoln Literacy visit