Lucy Yeomans

Island Bound: Peace Corps Takes Graduate to Indonesia

May 16, 2024
Lucy Yeomans will volunteer with the Peace Corps in Indonesia after completing undergraduate and M.S.M. degrees.

Lucy Yeomans spent her last semester on campus saying ‘yes.’

“If I had an idea, I thought, why not explore it and see what happens,” she said. After graduating with a B.A. in English last year, Yeomans, a student-athlete on the Women’s Swimming and Diving team, remained on campus for another year to work towards an M.S.M. degree.

“I knew business would be useful in whatever I pursued,” she said. “My English degree helped me think and my business degree is helping me to act.” With graduation approaching, she spoke to those closest to her about next steps. Matt Barany, head coach of the team, shared his experience in the Peace Corps, and connected her with other volunteers to learn more. 

“Everyone I talked to had great things to say about their experience,” she said. “I never had one career dream and am an adventurous kind of person, and the Peace Corps put together a lot of things I want to do—service, travel, and teaching.” With three days until the application deadline, she applied to serve in Indonesia, because it was warm and near the water, two of her requirements. Within a few weeks Yeomans received her acceptance.

Having not traveled out of the country before, Yeomans is looking forward to exploring a new place while being rooted to her service—teaching secondary school. With younger siblings and experience as a swim coach, she feels ready and comfortable with the assignment.

Yeomans begins her service in September with a three-month training period among 60 other volunteers during which time they will practice the language, gain experience teaching, and acclimate to the culture. When her two-year service begins, she will live with a host family most likely in a rural area of the country. “I am really excited to immerse myself in the culture and learn as much as I can,” she said. She also hopes to learn to surf and possibly offer swim lessons while there, maybe even contribute to opening a library.

Yeomans is now head down in the planning process, checking to dos off her list, making medical appointments, packing, and preparing. Coming from her hometown of Athens, Ga., Yeomans said, “There was home, then there was Richmond, and now Indonesia.”

“My 15-year swimming career has taught me a lot of discipline, but I am also spontaneous,” she said, crediting her dad with the latter. “I can’t wait to see how I change through this experience; I know it will be transformative.”