• Peter Myer
  • Holy Innocents’ Episcopal School, senior
Peter Myer

One January day a couple of years ago, Peter Myer was in downtown Atlanta when he saw a homeless man wearing a short-sleeve shirt.

Peter decided he needed to do something to help. He started collecting coats and blankets at his school, Holy Innocents’ Episcopal School, with plans to donate them so homeless people would be able to stay warm during the winter.

Last year, he collected about 80 coats and 30 blankets, and gave them to Open Door Community, which operates a soup kitchen in Atlanta. “It was truly a profound experience to see the work that I did benefiting those in need,” Peter wrote in an email at the time.

This year, he started collecting donations again. In January and February, he gathered hundreds of coats and blankets for the Open Door Community.

Gerard Gatoux, a teacher at Holy Innocents’, said Peter’s unselfishness “is a rare and notable characteristic in such a young person.”

“I am extremely proud of this remarkable young man,” Gatoux said. “His numerous accomplishments in school, on the field, in his community, and in the world, demonstrate his amazing capacity to lead and excel academically, athletically and artistically.

“I often think of him as a Renaissance man: Eagle Scout, recipient of the National Security Language Initiative for Youth in China, recipient of the 2012 “Best Negotiator” Model United Nations, selected in the Wofford Scholars Program, recipient of the University of Georgia Certificate of Merit Award, and musician, singer and soccer player.”

Peter also is fascinated by languages. He considers himself fluent in Spanish, and tutors students at LaAmistad, where he helps Spanish-speaking students with their homework.

Last summer, Peter traveled to China. He was selected after a year-long, nationally competitive process for a fully-funded, merit-based scholarship, sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Education and Cultural Affairs.

Peter traveled to Jiaxing, China, where he studied Mandarin for six weeks. He said he studied the language for four hours a day, five days a week, and on weekends. He lived in a dorm with three Chinese students.

Peter Myer, center, with Eduard Loring, left, and Murphy Davis, right, at the Open Door Community facility.

“It was amazing,” he said. “It may sound cliché, but it truly changed my life. My perspective on everything and how I approach things is now completely different.”

Not only is Peter thoroughly involved in service work and languages, but he also is active in school clubs, including the all-male a cappella group called the Beartones, after the school mascot, the Golden Bear.

He’s also musical. He plays guitar, piano, viola, and is learning the ukulele.

And last year, during the National Honor Society’s induction, Peter asked his girlfriend to prom by singing a solo of “My Girl,” a song made famous by The Temptations.

What’s Next:

Peter hopes to study international relations and take courses required for a medical degree. He hopes to attend Duke University, Princeton University, Davidson College, Washington and Lee University or Brown University.

This article was prepared by Sierra Middleton, a student at Mount Vernon Presbyterian School.