The University of Iowa

UI grad and husband begin Peace Corps service in Fiji

August 28th, 2015

This article originally appeared in the Midwest Peace Corps Volunteer blog.

University of Iowa alumna Laura Semprini, 27, of Iowa City, IA and her husband Jason Semprini, 28, of Cedar Rapids, IA have been accepted into the Peace Corps and will depart for Fiji Aug. 31 to begin training as a youth development volunteers. The Semprinis will live and work at the community level to promote and develop healthy lifestyles and environmental awareness in conjunction with the Ministry of Education and Ministry of Youth and Sport. They will coordinate several skill-building activities, including co-teaching life skills classes, after school clubs and school gardens.

“We had both dreamed of serving with the Peace Corps long before we met,” Jason said. “Part of what brought us together was our mutual desire to see the world and serve others. Along with love and support, we see commitment as our key to success while serving with the Peace Corps: committing to each other, committing to the mission, committing to the community within Fiji, and committing to peace.” 

The Semprinis

Jason Semprini is the son of Ann and John Semprini of Carroll, Iowa, and a 2005 graduate of Carroll High School. He graduated from Morningside College in Sioux City, Iowa, in 2009 with a bachelor’s degree in finance. Prior to Peace Corps, he served as an AmeriCorps volunteer in Cedar Rapids where he assisted attorneys in providing free legal services to low-income populations.

Laura Semprini is the daughter of Dave and Gay Nass of Lombard, Ill., and a 2006 graduate of Glenbard East High School. She graduated from the University of Iowa in 2010 with a bachelor’s degree in economics and a certificate in international business. She then earned a master’s degree in non-governmental organizations and development from the London School of Economics and Political Science in 2011.

During the first three months of their service, the Semprinis will live with a host family in Fiji to learn the local language and integrate into the local culture. After acquiring the language and cultural skills that will help them make a lasting difference, Jason and Laura will be sworn into service and assigned to a community in Fiji where they will serve for two years.

The couple will work in cooperation with the local people and partner organizations on sustainable, community-based development projects that improve the lives of people in Fiji and help Laura and Jason develop leadership, technical and cross-cultural skills that will give them a competitive edge when they return home. Peace Corps volunteers return from service as global citizens well-positioned for professional opportunities in today’s global job market.

The Semprinis join the 68 Iowa residents currently serving in the Peace Corps. More than 2,316 Iowa residents have served as volunteers since the agency was created in 1961.

About Peace Corps/Fiji: There are 63 volunteers in Fiji working with their communities on projects in health and youth development. During their service in Fiji, volunteers learn to speak local languages, including Fijian and Hindi. More than 2,385 Peace Corps volunteers have served in Fiji since the program was established in 1968.

For more information on applying to the Peace Corps through the University of Iowa, visit our webpage.