Skip to main content

Badger headed overseas as Peace Corps resumes work

February 22, 2023 By Ila Schrecker

Meg Cirii

Since she was young, Meg Cirii has been interested in joining the Peace Corps.  

Now that dream is becoming reality for the December 2022 UW–Madison graduate, who will travel to the Dominican Republic as an economic development volunteer at the end of February. 

Cirii will be one of the first Peace Corps volunteers participating in overseas service since the pandemic struck in March 2020. The Peace Corps suspended global operations and evacuated nearly 7,000 volunteers from more than 60 countries at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“An organization like Peace Corps to me, represents ideas like friendship, empathy, and education,” said Cirii. “These are all ideas associated with the Peace Corps mission that I am passionate about pursuing.”​​

In the Dominican Republic, Cirii will serve as a co-facilitator with community organizations to help secure employment for individuals.  “My specific responsibilities will vary depending on what community I am serving and the goals they have already established,” Cirii said.

Cirii learned more about the Peace Corps at UW, before deciding it was the right decision for her. 

“At UW, we have a large RPCV (Returned Peace Corps Volunteer) community,” Cirri said. “This allowed me to meet people who told me about their experiences in the Peace Corps.”

Cirii majored in Agricultural & Applied Economics with certificates in Global Health and Public Policy. She also took many of her classes in Environmental and Developmental Economics.

Cirii is eager to apply the economic theories she learned in the classroom setting to real-life experiences in the Dominican Republic. 

“My education taught me about the global economy, population, poverty, the value of our natural resources, and their protection through environmental policy,” Cirii said, “I learned how economics can be a tool to help people and the environment.” 

Cirii also looks forward to having new experiences in the Dominican Republic. 

“I think it’s a real privilege to have the opportunity to live in another country, learn a new language, and experience a new culture,” Cirii said, “I can’t wait to meet so many new people and friends that I wouldn’t have otherwise.”

The volunteer cohorts she’s a part of are made up of first-time volunteers and volunteers who evacuated in early 2020. Upon finishing a three-month training, volunteers will collaborate with their host communities on locally prioritized projects in one of Peace Corps’ six sectors – agriculture, community economic development, education, environment, health or youth in development – and all will engage in COVID-19 response and recovery work.

The agency is recruiting volunteers to serve in 56 countries around the world at the request of host country governments to connect through the Peace Corps’ grassroots approach across communities and cultures. Volunteers have already returned to a total of 45 countries around the world. The Peace Corps continues to monitor COVID-19 trends in all of its host countries and will send volunteers to serve as conditions permit. Americans interested in transformative service and lifelong connections should apply to Peace Corps service at


Tags: Peace Corps