Returned Peace Corps Volunteer Collection
Janice "Jan" Bernsten (nee Graham) served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Sierra Leone from 1968 to 1970 as a primary school teacher. Graham's training began in Freetown and continued in Bo and at the rural Njala University. Her training included teacher training and learning the Mende language. Graham was first stationed in Jimmi Bagbo, where she taught all subjects to 60 sixth graders, maintained a school library, and organized a nursery school. In the summer of 1969, she helped with the training of a new cohort of teacher volunteers. Graham became engaged to a community development Peace Corps volunteer, Rick Bernsten. She moved to his location in Taiama for her second year of teaching. Jan and Rick were married in Taiama in December 1969. Bernsten emphasizes the many benefits she received from her Peace Corps experiences. Afterwards she had a career teaching English as a Second Language (ESL) and then linguistics, and she and Rick have been involved in projects in several other countries. Interviewed and recorded by Ellen Gagne, October 17, 2018. 1 digital audio file.