- Written by Jaime Elliott
After a stint in clinical research, Gifft Hill School alumna Emese Nemeth is heading off to Malawi as Peace Corps volunteer.
CORAL BAY — Trading in a research job for a chance to change the world, Gifft Hill School alumna Emese Nemeth is heading off to Malawi next month to teach biology to primary school students as a Peace Corps volunteer.
After graduating from Simmons College with a psychology-biology degree, Nemeth, now 24, spent two years working in clinical research but was not feeling fulfilled, she explained.
“After graduation I was working in Boston in clinical research studying aging and dementia and the elderly,” said Nemeth. “I did that for two years and realized that clinical research is not my calling. Then I read a book by Dr. Paul Farmer and it inspired me.”
“I really wanted to do more humanitarian type of work and help people on a large scale,” Nemeth said. “I also wanted to work abroad, so the Peace Corps seemed like a natural fit.”
Nemeth began the lengthy Peace Corps application process in March 2014 and was not informed of her acceptance until December.
“Throughout the process you are interviewed and then you are nominated for a program and then you enter the doldrums,” said Nemeth. “They just go through your application, which is pretty lengthy, and go over one thing at a time and then you get the acceptance.”
Nemeth was nominated for Peace Corps’ education sector as a biology teacher and was given three countries from which to choose for her assignment, she explained.
“When I applied I didn’t put any preference for where I wanted to go,” Nemeth said. “I was living in Boston at the time so I just wanted to be someplace warm. But I was nominated in the education sector and I had to choose between Malawi, Liberia and Ghana.”
“I chose Malawi, one of the poorest countries in the world, as my top choice and when I got my acceptance in December I was told I was going there,” she said.
The Peace Corps commitment is a 27 month post with a three month training.
“I’m flying over on June 17 with a group of volunteers and we’ll do training for three months in Malawi,” said Nemeth. “The training will be about the language, the culture and their way of life. English is the official language but in rural Malawi, which is where I will be posted, many people speak Chicewa, so I think it will be a mix of both languages.”