Texas Ranks Among Peace Corps’ Top Volunteer-Producing States in 2016

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Today, Peace Corps announced that Texas ranks No. 8 among states with the highest number of Peace Corps volunteers. There are 277 volunteers from Texas currently serving worldwide, and 7,606 Texans 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,” Director Carrie Hessler-Radelet said. “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.”

For the past five years, Texas has consistently ranked in the top 10. The Lone Star State also ranks among the top 10 volunteer-producing states of all time. In 2016, two Texas universities ranked as top volunteer-producing Hispanic Serving Institutions – The University of Texas at El Paso, which made its debut in the rankings, and Texas State University. Texas 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 “Texas Ranks Among Peace Corps’ Top Volunteer-Producing States in 2016”

Peace Corps Holidays

Because Peace Corps service is a 27-month commitment, it allows Volunteers to celebrate the holiday season in their host countries and participate in new traditions and customs, while also sharing their own. Below, we highlight stories from Peace Corps Volunteers who share their experiences spending the holidays overseas. From one Peace Corps Volunteer to another, these Volunteers share their advice to those embarking on their first festive season in service.

Attend our Holidays Away From Home online event Monday, December 19th to hear more about serving overseas during the holiday season. 

Continue reading “Peace Corps Holidays”

Purdue Graduate Excels as Peace Corps Agriculture Volunteer

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Name: Caroline Schier

Major:  Environmental and Natural Resource Engineering

School: Purdue University

Sector: Agriculture

Although agriculture is the primary economic activity in most countries, many communities are still not able to produce enough food, manage their water supply or implement sustainable practices for the future generations to follow. Peace Corps sends highly skilled and dedicated Volunteers out into the field to help communities combat some of these issues.

Get to know Peace Corps Volunteer, Caroline Shier, a 2014 Purdue University graduate, who is currently serving as an agriculture extension Volunteer in Zambia. Continue reading “Purdue Graduate Excels as Peace Corps Agriculture Volunteer”

Peace Corps volunteer’s tips on getting into Peace Corps

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On Ian Walker’s second attempt at applying to Peace Corps, he was nervous and unsure he would get in. The Sheridan, Ill., native knew the process was competitive, but volunteering was his dream and he couldn’t give up after one try.

It’s good he didn’t. Walker was invited to serve in Peace Corps Zambia and departed on Feb. 8 to begin training as a rural aquaculture promotion volunteer.

“I re-applied to Peace Corps because I really wanted to participate in it. I did not think I was rejected for reasons that I could not change, I thought it was simply I did not have enough experience,” Walker said. “I probably would have continued to re-apply had I not been accepted the second time.” Continue reading “Peace Corps volunteer’s tips on getting into Peace Corps”

College sweethearts depart for Peace Corps Zambia

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Madeline Haupert and Chaz Parker-Alof met as students at the University of San Francisco in an environmental studies class their sophomore year. Throughout the years, their relationship blossomed through the highs and lows of any college relationship. But on Feb. 8 Madeline will face one of the biggest challenges of her life: departing for Peace Corps Zambia with her boyfriend Chaz.

“Serving as a couple in the Peace Corps will likely bring both incredible building experiences as well as a multitude of hardships,” said Madeline. “I feel as though Chaz and I will benefit from having one another to process things with and I look forward to growing as a couple through shared experiences and then bringing those experiences back to the U.S. after service. Having undergone our service together, I suspect we will understand one another on a deeper level.” Continue reading “College sweethearts depart for Peace Corps Zambia”

Marshallville, Ohio native begins Peace Corps service in Zambia

mcendreJeff McEndree, 25, of Marshallville, Ohio, has been accepted into the Peace Corps and will depart for Zambia on Feb. 8 to begin training as a rural aquaculture promotion volunteer. McEndree will live at the community level to build and manage fish ponds to increase production and income. He will also train farmers on site selection processes, pond construction and harvesting and management practices. He will also assist farmers on marketing, record keeping and planning skills to better run their businesses.

“When I received my invitation, it kind of just blew me away,” McEndree said. “I was extremely excited. I think I re-read the invitation email three or four times to confirm I was actually invited. It was an incredible experience.” Continue reading “Marshallville, Ohio native begins Peace Corps service in Zambia”

Petersburg, Mich., native begins Peace Corps service in Zambia

Whitney Woelmer spends time with her family before departing for the Peace Corps. From the back row left to right: Seattle Mero, Toot Woelmer. Front row left to right: Skyler Mero, Peace Corps volunteer Whitney Woelmer, Brooklyn Woelmer.
Whitney Woelmer spends time with her family before departing for the Peace Corps. From the back row left to right: Seattle Mero, Toot Woelmer. Front row left to right: Skyler Mero, Peace Corps volunteer Whitney Woelmer, Brooklyn Woelmer.

Whitney Woelmer, 24, of Petersburg, Mich., has been accepted into the Peace Corps and will depart for Zambia on Feb. 8 to begin training as a rural aquaculture promotion volunteer. Woelmer will work at the community level to build and manage fish ponds to increase production and income. She will also train farmers on site selection processes, pond construction and harvesting and management practices. She will also assist farmers on their business skills, instructing them on marketing, record keeping and planning skills to better run their businesses.

“I got my invitation on the eve of my birthday,” said Woelmer. “It felt like, and still does feel like, some of the most life-changing news I’ve ever received.” Continue reading “Petersburg, Mich., native begins Peace Corps service in Zambia”