District News

Frederick exploring the world with Peace Corps

Posted on: August 30, 2018
photo of alex in mongolia

When students graduate from Little Miami, they take with them the knowledge they gathered at school, and our best wishes for a bright future. And in the life of at least one Panther grad, that future includes Mongolia!

Class of 2014 graduate Alexandra Frederick will be a Peace Corps volunteer in Mongolia for the next two years. After a summer of training and living with a host family in Selenge Aimag province, she is currently living at a settlement in the Gobi Desert where she will be working with local residents on service projects and teaching English. (Check out her blog about her experiences.)

Frederick graduated from Ohio State University in June 2018 with a degree in environmental engineering, and before she left on her adventure, she answered a few questions for us.

Q. Why did you choose to volunteer for the Peace Corps? You will be teaching, but learning as well. What do you believe you will learn?

A. There are so many reasons, but I think the opportunity to take a nontraditional path and learn things outside of my comfort zone is a big reason why I decided to volunteer. Ultimately, I think it stems from my desire to help people and change lives for the better. I believe I will learn more about the human experience in general. I think new life experiences are extremely valuable, especially moving forward in my life and career.

Q. What do you plan to do with your degree after this chapter in your life?

A. I’m graduating with a degree in Environmental Engineering from Ohio State University. At this point, I’m not really sure what I’ll be doing after the Peace Corps. I could see myself working for the EPA or going into the private sector. There are a lot of possible directions to go with my major, including drinking water and wastewater treatment, pollution prevention, and remediation projects. However during my service, I’ll choose secondary projects that may pertain to my interests – sustainability, public health, waste management, water treatment – and these projects may help me pinpoint the direction I want to take after I’m finished in Mongolia.

Photo of alex with young girl

Q. Do you feel as though Little Miami prepared you for success? If so, how did your time here prepare you?

A. Absolutely, I would not be where I am today without the experiences I had growing up in the Little Miami School District. Schooling-wise, I had a lot of teachers who encouraged my interest in world issues. Honestly, math and science courses have always been my favorite. I love facts and solutions. Those kinds of classes have been amazing at preparing me for my degree on the technical side. However, my literature classes have prepared me in ways I didn’t understand at the time. With discussions of themes, characters, historical periods, human experiences, I have learned a lot about the importance of communication, open-mindedness and people in general. I could also say the same about playing volleyball and lacrosse. Communication and patience is critical to work together as a team and make the changes necessary to improve.

On the more social side, during my schooling, there was a heavy struggle with passing levies.  The classes available to previous students were not available to my class, the high school didn’t have busing, and a few other things were affected.  We learned to adapt, preserve and still make the best of what we had.

Overall, Little Miami prepared me by helping develop my character, my interest in world travel blossomed during this time, and I learned to take all of the opportunities, which is still what I do to this day.

Q. What else would you like to tell us?

 A. Interestingly, as I prepare for my time abroad, I’m working through online modules that teach me about the culture and language of Mongolia.  Some facts about Mongolia are that: there are more horses than people, the average annual temperature is 32 degrees Fahrenheit (brr!), it is called the “Land of the Blue Sky,” part of the Gobi desert is in Mongolia, and meat is the main part of the Mongolian diet, followed by dairy products.