Name: Alexandra Gary
City: Kingwood, Texas
School: University of Texas – Austin
Alexandra Gary, 22, of Kingwood, Texas, has been accepted into the Peace Corps and departed for Peru on August 18 to begin training as a community health Volunteer. She will work at the community level to raise awareness about basic hygiene practices and promote healthy lifestyles. She will also work with youth to educate them on sexual and reproductive health practices and work with a group of more than 30 mothers.
“It has been my dream to serve in the Peace Corps ever since my freshman year of high school, so I was ecstatic when I was invited to serve as a health Volunteer in Peru,” Gary said. “I am looking forward to the opportunity to live in South America for the next two years, especially since my Spanish is still pretty rudimentary. I have always been fascinated with Latin American culture and I love working with people, so the Peace Corps feels like a perfect fit at this point in my life.”
Gary is the daughter of Tom and Lynette Gary of Kingwood and a 2012 graduate of Beaver Dam High School. She went on to receive her bachelor’s degree in nursing with a minor in public health from the University of Texas – Austin in May 2016.
“During college, I studied abroad in Botswana and worked in local clinics each week,” she said. “My experience as a volunteer in these clinics helped me find my passion and desire to work abroad. My time in Botswana reaffirmed my desire to join the Peace Corps and assured me that I could handle the challenges of living abroad. I believe my college career was essential to preparing me for my future as a Peace Corps Volunteer.”
During the first three months of service, Gary will live with a host family in Peru to learn the local language and integrate into the culture. After acquiring the language and cultural skills that will help her make a lasting difference, Gary will be sworn into service and assigned to a community in Peru where she will serve for two years.
Gary will work in cooperation with the local people and partner organizations on sustainable, community-based development projects that improve the lives of people in Peru, and will also help to Gary develop leadership, technical and cross-cultural skills that will give her a competitive edge when she returns home. Peace Corps Volunteers return from service as global citizens well-positioned for
professional opportunities in today’s global job market.
“I believe the Peace Corps will help me become a better person who is more cognizant of other cultures,” Gary said. “I will have a whole new outlook on the world and how other people live. On a professional level, I believe serving in the Peace Corps will open many opportunities. My service in Peru will give me a broader view of health, including the barriers to efficient health care in developing countries and provide me with the experience to pursue a career in public health.”
Gary joins the 277 Texas residents currently serving in the Peace Corps. More than 7,437 Texas residents have served as volunteers since the agency was created in 1961.
About Peace Corps/Peru: There are 243 Volunteers in Peru working with their communities on projects in community economic development, the environment, health, and youth development. During their service in Peru, Volunteers learn to speak local languages, including Quechua and Spanish. More than 3,475 Peace Corps Volunteers have served in Peru since the program was established in 1962.