Thursday, February 6, 2014

Jacobs School alum joins Peace Corps, will serve as a science teacher in Cameroon

We want to congratulate alum Mario Zuniga, who was recently selected to work as a science teacher in Cameroon for the Peace Corps. While an undergraduate at the Jacobs School, where he majored in environmental engineering, Zuniga worked with Ph.D. student Michael Gollner on fire spread research (Gollner is now an assistant professor at the University of Maryland, College Park). Zuniga also was a McNair fellow.

In the press release issued by the Peace Corps, Zuniga says:

Helping others has always been part of me. From hearing other’s problems and giving them advice, to attending charity events in poor communities in Mexico and providing food and clothing for people in need. My mother has shown me that helping those in need can really fulfill one’s life. The first moment I felt satisfied with my life happened once at a charity event in Tijuana. Around Christmas time, my Mother’s church group, a couple of friends and I went to a poor community in Tijuana. After doing a traditional Mexican ritual, we handed out food, clothing, and toys. Seeing all the little kids – with their dirty and torn clothing but fulfilled heart and bright smiles – gave me a feeling I had never felt before. I knew that if I died that instant, I would die the happiest man on earth. From this moment, I discovered the meaning of my life. From this moment, I knew I wanted to do something like the Peace Corps.

Zuniga will join 214 Peace Corps volunteers working in Cameroon in May 2014.

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