Thursday, January 27, 2011

My Peace Corps Application Journey is OVER.

To my friends and to my followers and to everyone I've met along the way, my Peace Corps experience is over. I received the official email from my Placement Officer today. You can read that below. I just want to thank everyone for the support. I could not have made it this far without it. I also want to thank the fellow applicants that I met. Craziness, right? For those that get an invite or already have it, I wish you the best on your travels! This blog will remain open for future applicants to have as a resource. Again, thanks everyone! PMA


Thank you for your email and I appreciate your explanation of your interest and motivation to join the Peace Corps. Unfortunately every country I have spoken with has agreed that they would not be able to accept you into their program because of your visible tattoos and body modifications. The reality is, Peace Corps Volunteers must be able to conform and assimilate into the cultures and communities they serve, and this includes their appearances. Because your tattoos and other body modifications are permanent, you would not be able to conform/modify properly enough as to ensure that 1) your safety and security would not be in jeopardy, 2) you would not ostracize yourself, or be found unapproachable, from local citizens, and therefore 3) you would be able to successfully perform the duties assigned to you for 27 months.

I understand your arguments, however you must be aware that surely the Peace Corps can say “whether or not [your] tattoos would cause any problems”. I am not making this decision sitting in an office in Washington DC. These decisions were made by the staff (both Americans and Host Country Nationals) in the countries we serve in. And trust me, the staff in Ukraine, or Jamaica, or Eastern Caribbean, or wherever, knows better than you or I do regarding how your visible tattoos and body modifications will be regarding in their countries.

I am deeply sorry Joey, however we are not going to be able to offer you an invitation to serve in the Peace Corps. This is not a reflection of your motivation nor your skill set, both of which are solid. This decision is based solely on your inability to modify your appearance in order to maintain a safe and productive service as a Peace Corps Volunteer.

I wish you the best of luck in your future endeavors.


Jason Bowers"


  1. Oh, I am so very saddened to read about this outcome.
    Your blogs have been inspiring and you have shown yourself to have considerable objectivity and insight.
    Thank you for informing the rest of us applicants who supported you. At least we are now aware of the outcome of all of your efforts regarding your desire to serve in the Peace Corps.
    Best wishes in whatever you endeavor from this point going forward.

  2. I'm so sorry Joey! That really sucks :-(

  3. I am so sorry to hear about the outcome. As an applicant going through the process I know how much time and effort you have put into this journey. It's unfortunate it has come to this. Don't let this bump in the road discourage you from making a difference. I wish you all the best in the future.

  4. I'm so sorry, Joey! That's very disappointing. However, I am sure that you will find something that moves you and makes use of all you have to offer the world. Best of luck to you!

  5. Seems like this might have been something they could have told you at your initial interview and saved you a lot of time and heartache. Sorry :(

  6. Good luck, man. Been reading your blog for a while now.

  7. Thought you might find this link interesting even if you've moved on from PC: