Thomas Hamilton, 22, of St. Louis, Missouri, has been accepted into the Peace Corps and will depart for Paraguay on February 21 to begin training as a community economic development volunteer. Thomas will work at the community level to work with at-risk youth and develop camps, clubs, youth groups, and other after-school activities. Hamilton will also teach computer, money management, business, and employability skills to the community at large.
“I’ve been interested in serving, specifically in Latin America, since I studied abroad in Costa Rica in high school and became friends with a Peace Corps volunteer serving near me,” Hamilton said. “Her projects serving the people in my area inspired me, and I saw the direct effects they can have on good people.”
Hamilton is the son of Louis and Tricia Hamilton of St. Louis, and a 2012 graduate of Crossroads College Prep of St. Louis. Hamilton went on to attend college at The George Washington University in Washington, D.C., graduating with a bachelor’s degree in political science, in May 2016.
“In addition to hearing great things about the Peace Corps from professors, GW prepared me by making government internships highly accessible, which helped me understand the long term benefits of being a Peace Corps volunteer,” Hamilton said. “Many of my colleagues in and around D.C. praised the work ethic of returned Peace Corps volunteers that went on to work in their departments.”
During the first three months of service, Hamilton will live with a host family in Paraguay to become fully immersed in the country’s language and culture. After acquiring the necessary skills to assist his community, Hamilton will be sworn into service and be assigned to a community in Paraguay, where he will live and work for two years with the local people.
Hamilton will work in cooperation with the local people and partner organizations on sustainable community-based development projects that improve the lives of people in Paraguay and will help him to develop leadership, and technical and cross-cultural skills that will give him a competitive edge when he returns home. Peace Corps volunteers return from service as global citizens well-positioned for professional opportunities in today’s global job market.
Hamilton joins the 111 Missouri residents currently serving in the Peace Corps. More than 3,401 Missouri residents have served as Volunteers since the agency was created in 1961.
About Peace Corps/Paraguay: There are more than 220 Volunteers in Paraguay working with their communities on projects in agriculture, community economic development, the environment, and health. During their service in Paraguay, Volunteers learn to speak local languages, including Guaraní and Spanish. More than 4,070 Peace Corps Volunteers have served in Paraguay since the program was established in 1966.