CHICAGO — Minnesota again this year ranks among the top-producing states, per capita, for Peace Corps volunteers. Currently, Minnesota produces 3.8 volunteers for every 100,000 state residents, making it No. 8 among states per capita in 2013.
Minnesota also ranks No. 13 among all states in total volunteers produced, with 206 currently serving Peace Corps volunteers calling Minnesota home.
Within Minnesota, the Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington area is home to 150 active Peace Corps volunteers and ranks No. 9 among metropolitan areas nationwide in total Peace Corps volunteers produced.
Married St. Paul residents Jennifer Klein and Joshua Cook have been making a difference as Peace Corps volunteers in Ethiopia since October 2012. Klein, who worked at Gillette Children’s Hospital in St. Paul, conducts community outreach as an HIV/AIDS advisor volunteer, and Cook, who worked for TomTom and is pursuing his master’s from St. Mary’s University in Minneapolis, works on health information technology projects.
“I think it’s great that Minnesota produces so many Peace Corps volunteers!” said Jennifer, who earned her master’s degree from Metropolitan State University in St. Paul. “The Twin Cities is full of great people who want to make a difference in the world — it doesn’t matter if it’s in their communities, in the state, or halfway across the world.”
Since Peace Corps was created in 1961, 6,387 Minnesota residents have made a difference and helped promote a better understanding between Americans and the people of the 139 countries in which they have served.
“Americans from all across our great country and all walks of life are drawn to the Peace Corps by a spirit of service and a passion for helping others,” Peace Corps Acting Director Carrie Hessler-Radelet said. “No matter where they start their journey, through their experience Peace Corps volunteers show the world the compassion, tolerance and dedication to service that has always characterized the American people.”
Several Minnesota schools consistently place on Peace Corps’ annual lists of colleges and universities that produce the most alumni volunteers. The University of Minnesota, Twin Cities ranks No. 20 among large schools this year, while St. Olaf, Carleton, and Macalester colleges all placed in the top 25 for small schools.
California topped the 2013 state rankings, with 973 of its residents making a difference as Peace Corps volunteers overseas. To see the full list of Peace Corps’ Top States and Metro Regions, click here.
Peace Corps is a life-defining leadership experience for Americans who are prepared for the challenge of public service overseas. Volunteers return home as global citizens with cross-cultural, leadership, language, teaching and community development skills that position them well for advanced education and professional opportunities in a 21st-century job market.
College seniors, mid-career professionals, retirees, and other Americans with work and volunteer experience are encouraged to apply now at www.peacecorps.gov/apply for an opportunity to be making a difference overseas by summer or fall 2014 and into early 2015. Learn about service opportunities by assignment area, country, and departure month with our interactive map at www.peacecorps.gov/openings.
Peace Corps’ eight regional recruiting offices across the United States work to recruit and provide information to prospective Peace Corps volunteers. The Midwest Regional Recruiting Office serves Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota and Wisconsin, and Peace Corps recruiters work locally throughout the region. Call (855) 855-1961 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org to speak directly with a recruiter, or read about Midwestern volunteers making a difference at http://midwestpcvs.wordpress.com.
About the Peace Corps: As the preeminent international service organization of the United States, the Peace Corps sends Americans abroad to tackle the most pressing needs of people around the world. Peace Corps volunteers work at the grassroots level with local governments, schools, communities, small businesses and entrepreneurs to develop sustainable solutions that address challenges in education, health, economic development, agriculture, environment and youth development. When they return home, volunteers bring their knowledge and experiences – and a global outlook – back to the United States, enriching the lives of those around them. President John F. Kennedy established the Peace Corps in 1961 to foster a better understanding among Americans and people of other countries. Since then, more than 215,000 Americans of all ages have served in 139 countries worldwide. Visit www.peacecorps.gov to learn more.
*Peace Corps data current as of September 30, 2013. The metropolitan area data used to determine Peace Corps’ rankings are derived from the most current U.S. Census Bureau “Metropolitan and Micropolitan Statistical Area” data. Volunteers self-report their home city and state on their Peace Corps application.