Niantic woman to begin Peace Corps service in Panama

Emily Howell Heller, 25, of Niantic has been accepted into the Peace Corps.

Heller will depart for Panama today to begin pre-service training as an Environmental Education Peace Corps volunteer. Upon graduation from training in July, Heller will be working on environmental education.

Heller is the daughter of Raymond and Penelope Heller, and a graduate of East Lyme High School.

She attended Connecticut College in New London, where she earned a bachelor of arts in environmental studies, graduating in 2008. She previously worked with SCA as a planning intern for the Arctic Refuge and as a forestry intern for the New England Forestry Foundation. She also worked in Washington, D.C., with the International Union for the Conservation of Natural Resources as a research intern and was an AmeriCorps VISTA intern in Environmental Education.

During the first three months of her service, Heller will live with a host family in Panama to become immersed in the country's language and culture. After acquiring the language and cultural skills necessary to assist her community, Heller will serve for two years in Panama, living in a manner similar to people in her host country.

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