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Colorado filmmaker on ‘A Towering Task: The Story of the Peace Corps’

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12min 20sec
Courtesy Alana DeJoseph
Alana DeJoseph worked with a local resident to make mud bricks during her Peace Corps service in Mali in the early 1990s. DeJoseph now lives in Denver.

On September 22, 1961, President John F. Kennedy signed the Peace Corps Bill. He wanted Americans to go overseas, to live in other countries, to serve people, and to learn from them.

“The willingness of all Americans, young and old, to serve in the Peace Corps, to serve in all parts of the world, to serve with little pay, to do jobs that most of them have never done before, is one of the most encouraging manifestations of the American spirit that this country has seen in many years," said President Kennedy in a speech from the Oval Office. "The Peace Corps gives us a chance to show a side of our country which is too often submerged: our desire to live in peace, our desire to be of help."

Denver filmmaker Alana DeJoseph served in Mali in West Africa in the early 1990s. We spoke about her documentary, "A Towering Task: The Story of the Peace Corps." It returns to PBS stations this month.