Michael McLemore, 26, of St. Louis, Missouri, has been accepted into the Peace Corps and departed for Albania on March 4th to begin training as a community economic development volunteer. McLemore will live and work at the community level to make a difference by promoting organizational development and increasing his coworkers’ skill capacity. He may be placed in either a local government unit or one of a variety of different community-based organizations in Albania.
Prior to Peace Corps, McLemore served with the AmeriCorps St. Louis Emergency Response Team.
“People join Peace Corps for many, many reasons. My reasoning for joining was really quite selfish. I was so turned to Peace Corps knowing it would allow me to experience the ups and downs of living in a foreign land, to learn a new language, and to really explore the caverns of my shifty mind.”
– July 8, 2006, Jason Lemberg, Peace Corps Blog
Because Peace Corps service is a 27-month commitment, it allows volunteers to celebrate the holiday season in their host countries and participate in new traditions and customs, while also sharing their own. From now until January, we will highlight stories from Peace Corps volunteers who share their experiences spending the holidays overseas
Christopher Quintos will celebrate the holiday traditions of Macedonia, where he has extended his Peace Corps service beyond the standard 27-month commitment to continue serving as a community economic development volunteer. Below, Quintos, Chicago native, describes how he plans to celebrate the holidays in Macedonia and some of his favorite Macedonian traditions.
“Last year, I contracted a cold that later turned into a five-week case of bronchitis/ sinus infection. Being sick and being away from home on Christmas for the first time ever made it a very difficult time for me. But this year, I will celebrate with other volunteers. Another Peace Corps volunteer who lives in my town is Jewish, and in the coming weeks I look forward to celebrating Hanukkah with him and other volunteers.” Continue reading “Peace Corps Holidays: Macedonia”→
CHICAGO – Chicago, including Naperville and Joliet, is among the top-ranked metro areas for producing Peace Corps volunteers in 2015. Today Peace Corps announced Chicagoland as the fourth highest-producing metro area, with 225 residents currently serving as volunteers worldwide.
Annikki Hockert, 27, of Blaine, Minn., has been accepted into the Peace Corps and will depart for Armenia Aug. 21 to begin training as a community and youth services volunteer. Hockert will live and work at the community level to support local non-government organizations and community-based organizations on issues related to the environment, at-risk youth, human rights, children and youth with disabilities, and other community-specific needs. She will also empower youth to be active citizens through life skills activities, volunteerism and service-based learning initiatives, employability skills training, and the development of youth organizations, clubs, and camps.
Nicholas Ruhly, 25, of Waterville, Ohio, has been accepted into the Peace Corps and will depart for Kyrgyz Republic April 22 to begin training as a business advising volunteer. Ruhly will live and work at the community level helping NGOs and community-based organizations on strategic planning, fundraising, grant writing, and professional development.
Alyssa Schmirler, 22, of Milwaukee, has been accepted into the Peace Corps and will depart for Kyrgyz Republic April 22 to begin training as a secondary English education volunteer. Schmirler will live and work at the community level to teach English as a foreign language while improving students’ English capabilities. She will also work to build English teachers’ skills through team teaching and trainings.
Schmirler is the daughter of Thomas and Bobette Schmirler and a 2010 graduate of Pius XI High School in Milwaukee. She earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology and anthropology in 2014 from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she also had the opportunity to study abroad.