Neely in Panama with Peace Corps

Jun. 25, 2013 @ 04:35 AM

Carter Neely, 25, of Rutherfordton, has been accepted into the Peace Corps and is in Panama to begin training as a sustainable agriculture volunteer. He will be in Panama 27 months.

Neely will live and work with farmers to increase food production while promoting environmental conservation practices.

Neely was first introduced to the Peace Corps by his aunt, Julia Rome, who served in the Republic of Palau in the 1970s.

“Peace Corps programs have a perfect balance of volunteering, community development, and cultural immersion,” said Neely.

Neely is the son of Carol and Steve Neely and a graduate of R-S Central High School.

“We are very proud of Carter’s new endeavor and know he will represent his country well,” said Steve Neely.”He has worked very hard to be appointed and is very excited to be there.”

The Neelys were in Washington, D.C. with Carter last week for the national send-off event.

Carter attended North Carolina State University, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in media communication with a minor Spanish in 2009.

“My minor in Spanish [at North Carolina State University] allowed me to study the history and culture of Latin America. This knowledge will serve me well in Panama,” said Carter Neely.

During the first three months of his service, Neely will live with a host family in Panama to become fully immersed in the country’s language and culture. After acquiring the language and cultural skills necessary to assist his community, Neely will be sworn into service and be assigned to a community in Panama, where he will live and work for two years with the local people.

“The Peace Corps will give me a chance to better approach the issues that are afflicting American communities, such as malnutrition and obesity epidemics. Living in Panama will help me improve my Spanish to a professional level, opening the door to countless new opportunities,” said Neely.

Neely joins the 204 North Carolina residents currently serving in the Peace Corps and more than 3,984 North Carolina residents who have served in the Peace Corps since 1961.