Originally from Eudora, Arkansas, 2009 Graduate Pickering Fellow Courtney Woods has long been devoted to education, service, and cross-cultural interaction. While earning a degree in Education from Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia, he served in AmeriCorps and was a Bonner Scholar. These programs provided him with opportunities to serve locally and abroad. For example, he was able to participate in a Habitat for Humanity project in Durban, South Africa. International experience gained in college later led to entry into the Peace Corps, where he served as an English Teacher Trainer in Mozambique. Along with learning Portuguese, he helped educate Mozambicans about cultural diversity in the U.S. and developed a curriculum for teaching English in elementary school. His time in Mozambique also exposed him to the U.S. Embassy in Maputo, which offered Mozambicans opportunities to study in the U.S. and helped him to fund the development of a community center and an African-American History course. The embassy’s efforts to engage and empower the community attracted him to a career in the Foreign Service and led him to apply for the Pickering Graduate Fellowship.Courtney is currently earning a Master’s degree in Public Policy at the University of Southern California. The Pickering Fellowship has not only financed his education, it has also exposed him to a wealth of information and opportunities. These include insight into life as a Foreign Service Officer, a strong network of individuals interested in international affairs, and a summer internship with the Office of Southern African Affairs at the U.S. Department of State. He is honored to be a Pickering Fellow.