Iowa City Ranks Among Peace Corps’ Top Volunteer-Producing Metro Areas in 2016

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Today, Peace Corps announced that Iowa City, Iowa ranks No. 10 among metropolitan areas with the highest number of Peace Corps volunteers per 100,000 residents. There are 10 volunteers from Iowa City currently serving worldwide, and 2,388 Hawkeyes have served in the Peace Corps since the agency’s founding in 1961.

“During my time leading the Peace Corps, I have seen the tremendous impact that volunteers have when they share their unique hometown perspectives with the communities they serve,” said Director Carrie Hessler-Radelet. “Volunteers represent our nation’s rich diversity by coming from all corners of the U.S. They are able to share our nation’s rich cultural heritage with communities around the world, leaving a legacy of peace and friendship that is timeless.”

This is the second straight year Iowa City has ranked among the top 10 metropolitan areas. Iowa City volunteers are among the more than 225,000 Americans who have served around the world as agriculture, community economic development, education, environment, health and youth in development volunteers since 1961. Continue reading “Iowa City Ranks Among Peace Corps’ Top Volunteer-Producing Metro Areas in 2016”

Peace Corps Campus Recruiter Inspires Wash U Students

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With a bachelor’s degree in international development from the University of California Los Angeles, Allie Simpson is ready to inspire the next generation of Peace Corps Volunteers as the on-campus Peace Corps recruiter. After graduating from UCLA in 2012, Simpson departed for the Peace Corps in 2013 and served as a HIV outreach project Volunteer in South Africa until 2015.

Now, Simpson embarks on her first year of graduate school at Wash U, where she is studying social work with a concentration in children, youth and families, specializing in system dynamics.

“After studying international development for four years in college, I was tired of learning about the failures in development on a large-scale, so I wanted to get involved on a smaller scale, working in partnership with a community to understand their needs and help make a change,” Simpson said. “I believed the Peace Corps’ method was the most sustainable and effective way to make a difference. I was also obsessed with adventure and learning new cultures and couldn’t resist applying.” Continue reading “Peace Corps Campus Recruiter Inspires Wash U Students”

From Peace Corps Volunteer To Professor

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When Dr. Kristin Hedges left for Kenya to serve as a Peace Corps Volunteer, she thought she was going to save the world. Looking back sixteen years later, she had it backwards.

Through finding herself, living in a new community and making lifelong friendships, it was Peace Corps that saved her. Continue reading “From Peace Corps Volunteer To Professor”

Peace Corps Volunteer Fundraises For Malaria Prevention

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Emily McGann witnessed malaria’s reach and the devastating effects it havocked on her community in The Gambia while working as a health Peace Corps Volunteer over the past two years. But it wasn’t until she lost a fellow member in her community to the disease that she felt the destruction first hand.

Now, McGann is raising money through a Peace Corps Partnership (PCPP) grant in order to buy and distribute long lasting insecticidal nets (LLINs), or bed nets, to every member in her community to help prevent the spread of malaria.

“Malaria work has become my main focus for the rest of my service. It’s my goal to educate as many people as I can about the dangers of malaria and prevention methods,” said McGann. “By increasing malaria knowledge in the community, I hope to see future generations continue to embrace the culture of sleeping under bed nets and hopefully see malaria eradicated in The Gambia.” Continue reading “Peace Corps Volunteer Fundraises For Malaria Prevention”

North Dakota native finds a new perspective through Peace Corps

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The in-home washer and dryer is a convenience many Americans take for granted, but returned Peace Corps volunteer Westen Thomas knows another way. For two years, he scrubbed and cleaned his own laundry by hand, under the harsh Cambodian sun and surrounded by the noises of daily village life. In time, the hard work became a reward in itself.

“I miss the sounds of roaming animals, the chatter and laughing of the nearby neighbors, and those one to two hours of time to just think about life,” Thomas said. “In a way, hand washing my laundry became my weekly meditation.”

Continue reading “North Dakota native finds a new perspective through Peace Corps”

University of Minnesota moves to No. 3 on Peace Corps’ annual Top Schools list

Krista Krauss is serving in Guatemala as a maternal and child health volunteer. She graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2011.
Krista Krauss is serving in Guatemala as a maternal and child health volunteer. She graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2013.

CHICAGO – The University of Minnesota-Twin Cities (UMN) has moved up on Peace Corps’ annual Top Colleges list, claiming the No. 3 spot among large universities, the agency announced today. Currently, there are 59 Minnesota graduates serving abroad.

This year marks the university’s 16th appearance on the annual list. In 2014, UMN jumped 10 spots to No. 10, and last year it moved up to fifth place.

Since the agency was created in 1961, 1,502 alums have served overseas, making the UMN the No. 19 all-time producer of Peace Corps volunteers. Continue reading “University of Minnesota moves to No. 3 on Peace Corps’ annual Top Schools list”

University of Chicago earns spot on Peace Corps’ annual Top Schools list

Abigail Pershing (center) graduated from the University of Chicago in 2014. She is currently serving as an education volunteer in XX.
Abigail Pershing (center) graduated from the University of Chicago in 2014. She is currently serving as a health volunteer in Senegal.

CHICAGO – For the third year in a row, the University of Chicago has placed on Peace Corps’ annual list of the top volunteer-producing midsized colleges and universities across the country. The school ranks No. 25 with 13 alumni currently serving overseas as Peace Corps volunteers.

Since the agency was created in 1961, 762 UChicago graduates have made a difference as Peace Corps volunteers.

“The Peace Corps is a unique opportunity for college graduates to put their education into practice and become agents of change in communities around the world,” Peace Corps Director Carrie Hessler-Radelet said. “Today’s graduates understand the importance of intercultural understanding and are raising their hands in record numbers to take on the challenge of international service.” Continue reading “University of Chicago earns spot on Peace Corps’ annual Top Schools list”