Robert Sebring

Bob grew up in Gary, Indiana and remembers going to Comiskey Park to watch the great Venezuelan shortstops: Chico Carrasquel, Luis Aparicio, and later, Ozzie Guillen. After graduating from high school, Bob played minor league baseball, first with the old Washington Senators and then the Detroit Tigers in the New York - Pennsylvania League. A bad case of shin splints and the low outside curve ball ended his dreams of playing in the Big Leagues.

Bob returned to Gary where he worked at various jobs, including the water company and in the steel mills, until he realized that the only way out of the mills was to go to college. He attended Indiana University from 1960-63, where he was impressed by the young John F. Kennedy's ideas about the Peace Corps and what we could do for our country.

Following graduation, Bob taught school in Gary and then joined the Peace Corps in urban community development in barrio 23 de enero, Maturin, Venezuela. He helped organize a community junta and worked with his neighbors to put in 4 streets of sewers and "empotramientos" to the houses. Other projects included organizing a baseball team, starting a Boy Scout troop, and a savings and loan cooperative. He also worked with the other Peace Corps Volunteers in Maturin to establish, "El Turpial," a successful day camp for barrio kids. High school students worked as camp counselor trainees. Camp sponsors included the Rotary Club, local businesses, and the Catholic Church.

Following the Peace Corps, Bob helped train Peace Corps Volunteers at the University of Arizona and then attended the Pennsylvania State University where he completed his masters and doctorate degrees. Bob stayed on the Penn State faculty and staff for 13 years. While in Pennsylvania, he served as President of the Centre County Area Health Council, ran for the Democratic state senate, and worked to improve health care in the rural area. Afterwards, Bob and his family moved to Chicago where he accepted a position at the American Medical Association and then at the American Academy of Pediatrics. In March 2005, Bob returned to Venezuela to see if he could find two of his barrio friends, Freddy Diaz and Luis Rodriquez, and to see if the sewer system was still working. Luckily, he found Freddy and Luis and other neighbors and, oh yes, the sewer system is still working! Like Joe Jaycox, Bob's heart is still in Venezuela and 23 de enero.

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