Lucy Yeomans

Island Bound: Swim team student-athlete to volunteer with the Peace Corps

July 8, 2024


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,” Yeomans said. After graduating with a bachelor’s in English in 2023, Yeomans, a student-athlete on the women’s swimming and diving team, remained on campus for another year to work towards a Master of Science in Management 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.” As graduation approached last spring, 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. 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, which were two of her requirements. Within a few weeks, she received her acceptance.

Having not traveled out of the country before, she looks forward to exploring a new place while rooted in her service of 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 this time they will practice the language, gain experience teaching, and acclimate to the culture. When her two-year service begins, she will most likely live with a host family in a rural area of the country. “I am excited to immerse myself in the culture and learn as much as I can,” she said. She also hopes to learn to surf, offer swim lessons, and contribute to opening a library.

Yeomans is head down planning, checking to dos off her list, making medical appointments, packing, and preparing. Coming from her hometown of Athens, Georgia, 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.”