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”

Lake Orion, Michigan, Resident Begins Peace Corps Service in Guinea

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Susan Kay Bouvier, 51, of Lake Orion, Michigan, has been accepted into the Peace Corps and will depart for Guinea on December 1 to begin training as a public health educator. Bouvier will be assigned to a rural health center and conduct regular home visits to households with pregnant women and mothers with children under the age of two to promote healthy behaviors. She will also provide counseling to mothers and caregivers on essential nutrition actions, promote timely vaccinations for infants, and educate communities on signs and symptoms of preventable communicable diseases such as malaria, diarrhea, and pneumonia. Continue reading “Lake Orion, Michigan, Resident Begins Peace Corps Service in Guinea”

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”

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”

Returned Peace Corps volunteer brings Nicaraguan values home

Alison Feurerstein (center right) at her alma mater, the University of Wisconsin – Madison, with her parents and husband.

Joining the Peace Corps was a jumping-off point for Alison Feurerstein. Two service-filled years in Nicaragua propelled the Madison, Wis. native into a dynamic public health career, opened her eyes to a new culture and led her to her life partner.

But Feurerstein found more than just love within the Nicaraguan culture – Peace Corps changed her perspective on family, community and relationships. When looking back, it all started with the leap.

“My current job is building on my Peace Corps experience and giving me a more local look at public health and health disparities,” said Feurerstein, who worked in Nicaragua from 2013-15 as a health education volunteer. “Peace Corps was my launching off point towards a career in public health.” Continue reading “Returned Peace Corps volunteer brings Nicaraguan values home”

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”