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April 19, 2002 - Julie Frederick will not be hitting the job market, resume in hand, after she graduates from Aquinas College this May. She will be getting her heart, mind, and soul ready for what promises to be the two most rewarding years of her life.

Frederick is heading to the Philippines with the Peace Corps, using the skills she learned in Aquinas education classes, to teach English in a rural mountain community.

"I'll be helping teachers improve their English fluency and I'll work with kids in the classroom," Frederick says. "I love volunteering and children and travel so this is a perfect fit."

Frederick will be living with a host family and traveling to several communities, making classroom observations and participating in workshops.

Conditions will likely be more primitive than what she is used to, but Frederick says the semester she spent living in a teepee on a Native American reservation as part of the Aquinas study program in Montana has prepared her for that possibility.

"I've taken so much for granted and I really want to learn an appreciation of what I have," she says.

Community service has been an integral part of Frederick's life since her first year at Aquinas. She participated in a service learning trip at Maine's Acadia National Park and for three years tutored students at St. Andrew's elementary school as a member of Project Andy. She has also been involved in Campus Ministry.

"Julie is an excellent example of someone who uses her gifts and abilities to make a difference in the world today," said Coordinator of Service Learning Eric Bridge.

Frederick's decision to join the Peace Corps was an easy one to make. "I'd always thought about doing missionary work," she says. "Then I heard people rave about their experiences with the Peace Corps and I knew that was the organization I wanted to work with."

She doesn't miss any chance to give back to the community. When Frederick cut her hair in preparation for the tropical temperatures she will encounter this summer, she donated it to Locks of
Love, an organization that provides wigs to disadvantaged children who suffer from health-related hair loss.

Frederick says she isn't nervous about her forthcoming adventure. Unrest in the Middle East has touched parts of the Philippines, but the Peace Corps places participants in safe locations, she says, and her sense of mission is enough to see her through.

"I'm more excited than nervous," she says. "I find fulfillment in helping others and in trying to add to their lives in whatever way I can."

Frederick and the 490 other members of Aquinas College's 2002 graduating class will receive their diplomas during Commencement exercises May 11 at 2:00 p.m.