Sewickley Resident begins Peace Corps service in Nepal

Thursday, January 9, 2020 | 9:19 AM


Mairé Gebhard, 24, of Sewickley has been accepted into the Peace Corps and will depart for Nepal this month to begin training as an education volunteer.

“My passion and deep seated conviction that people are fascinating is my biggest driving factor. I have always firmly believed that if you are curious about something you should go and seek- my love for learning stems from this. I have also always felt like my calling in life was something with service — my AmeriCorps year started the fire, so to speak. I feel that the Peace Corps will  be a defining time in my life, a time where I can hopefully find out where this passion of mine will take me career-wise.,” said Gebhard of her desire to join the Peace Corps.

Gebhard is the daughter of Susan and Doug Gebhard of Sewickley and a graduate of Forsyth Country Day School. She attended the University of Vermont in Burlington, Vermont, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts in Religion and Anthropology in 2018. Prior to joining the Peace Corps, she served as an AmeriCorps volunteer.

During the first three months of her service, Gebhard will live with a host family in Nepal to become fully immersed in the country’s language and culture. After acquiring the necessary skills to assist her community, Gebhard will be sworn into service and assigned to a community in Nepal, where she will live and work for two years with the local people.

“I hope to gain more cross-cultural training and knowledge for one. I hope to become a better teacher, to learn a new language, and to gain a deeper understanding and appreciation for a new culture,” Gebhard said.

Gebhard will work in cooperation with the local people and partner organizations on sustainable, community-based development projects that improve the lives of people in Nepal and help Gebhard 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.

Gebhard joins the 291 Pennsylvania residents currently serving in the Peace Corps and more than 8,670 Pennsylvania residents who have served in the Peace Corps since 1961.

About volunteers in Nepal:  There are more than 70 volunteers in Nepal working with their communities on agriculture and education projects. During their service in Nepal, volunteers learn to speak Nepali. More than 3,835 Peace Corps volunteers have served in Nepal since the program was established in 1962.

About the Peace Corps: The Peace Corps sends Americans with a passion for service abroad on behalf of the United States to work with communities and create lasting change. Volunteers develop sustainable solutions to address challenges in education, health, community economic development, agriculture, the environment and youth development. Through their Peace Corps experience, volunteers gain a unique cultural understanding and a life-long commitment to service that positions them to succeed in today’s global economy. Since President John F. Kennedy established the Peace Corps in 1961, more than 235,000 Americans of all ages have served in 141 countries worldwide. For more information, visit peacecorps.gov and follow us on FacebookInstagram and Twitter.