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Grad Students Can Serve, Study Via Peace Corps Program

The following excerpt comes from U.S. News and World Report and was originally published on March 27, 2012.

Stefanie Fabrico knew her goal to build a public high school from plastic bottles was a lofty one. But in the span of her two-year service as a Peace Corps volunteer in Todos Santos, Guatemala, Fabrico helped transform her idea into the first public high school in the area.

While the school appears typical from the outsidecement walls, glass windows, metal roofthe walls are insulated with soda bottles stuffed with plastic trash.

Building the school meant navigating the waters of the local and national government, engaging the community, and enlisting the support of nonprofit and nongovernmental organizationsall while working in a foreign language.

This project was my biggest accomplishment not only in Peace Corps, but life accomplishment so far, Fabrico says.

While guiding the construction project from conception through completion, Fabrico was also earning her master's in public administration.

A member of Peace Corps's Master's International Program, which partners with more than 80 U.S. universities so volunteers can earn academic credit for their service, Fabrico took courses at George Mason University before leaving for her assignment in Guatemala.

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