MACON – Mercer University student Gabriel Ramirez has been selected to serve the Peace Corps as a health volunteer in Ethiopia beginning in January.
“Gabriel joins a long list of Mercerians who have committed themselves to change the world by using their skills to address serious problems in developing nations. Students like him are the embodiment of Mercer’s mission,” said Dr. David A. Davis, director of fellowships and scholarships and associate professor of English.
Ramirez, from Warner Robins, will be completing the five-year joint bachelor’s and master’s degree program in the School of Engineering during the upcoming fall semester.
He is majoring in environmental engineering and hopes to work for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency or an overseas non-governmental organization to improve water quality and infrastructure.
As a health volunteer, Ramirez will serve the Peace Corps for two years by improving local water and sanitation at the household level in an Ethiopian town. He will also participate in educational outreach regarding topics such as HIV/AIDS awareness and gender empowerment.
“I am very anxious to start this adventure in Ethiopia and feel grateful for all the experiences that Mercer gave me – from the diversity of courses that I was able to take, to the Mercer On Mission trip to Madagascar this summer that really sparked a sense of adventure in me, and especially the engineering courses that really gave me the tools to make a difference in the developing world,” said Ramirez.
Last year, Ramirez was the first recipient of the Middle Georgia Clean Air Coalition Scholarship, which recognized his work on a senior design project to build a small-scale solar panel system that can go on any house and supply roughly 30 percent of its energy needs at half of the market value.
He has also been heavily involved with the debate team at Mercer.
The Peace Corps, established by President John F. Kennedy in 1961, is a volunteer program administered by the U.S. government to send the best and brightest Americans abroad to tackle the most pressing needs of people around the world. More than 220,000 Americans have served in 140 countries, and more than 6,900 volunteers are now serving in 63 countries. For more information, visit www.peacecorps.gov.