Making a difference every day: Alpha Phi Alpha leads to Peace Corps service in Togo

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Kyree (left) with his host brothers in Togo.

Kyree Rollins has often been the first to accomplish most things in his life.

He was the first in his family to attend college. He was the first of his friends to map out a plan after graduation. He is a member of the first fraternity established for African-American men, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. And in 2015, Rollins became the first male from his university to join the Peace Corps.

“Coming from the inner city, the Peace Corps is not something that’s common. It’s not something talked about or heard about,” said Rollins. “Most of our families stayed at home and don’t move around or travel much. The Peace Corps was a start for me. I was the second graduate from my university to join. I opened the door for many and showed them that this is an opportunity for us.” Continue reading “Making a difference every day: Alpha Phi Alpha leads to Peace Corps service in Togo”

Celebrating and sharing history and cultures – Peace Corps volunteer finds passion through service in Malawi

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When Nyassa Kollie’s father thinks about his childhood and the hurdles he overcame in pursuit of his education, he replays the voices of encouragement telling him that he could do anything, even earn a doctorate in chemistry. Similarly, when Kollie’s mother faced obstacles growing up, it was the voices of hope that prevailed and lifted her up, reminding her that her education mattered.

Those voices her parents heard belonged to Peace Corps volunteers.

Kollie, now a Peace Corps volunteer in Malawi, wouldn’t fully grasp the motivation that fueled her father’s passion for education, or of the love her mother had for the volunteers who defined her youth until years later. Continue reading “Celebrating and sharing history and cultures – Peace Corps volunteer finds passion through service in Malawi”

University of Wisconsin – Madison leads Volunteers to Peace Corps Agriculture

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Rita Argus (center) recently completed her service as an agriculture volunteer in Senegal.

Joining the Peace Corps was a natural next step for Rita Argus and Daniel Stevenson after they earned their degrees from the University of Wisconsin – Madison. Whether it was through study abroad programs or in-the-field agriculture experiences, the students found their inspiration through different facets within the institution.

But their Wisconsin values were a constant.

“Classroom wise, professors often talked about ‘The Wisconsin Idea’ – the thought that what we are learning in the classroom should be applicable to real world situations,” Argus said. “I think this has conditioned me to better apply what I learned to help with problems and challenges I am encountering here.” Continue reading “University of Wisconsin – Madison leads Volunteers to Peace Corps Agriculture”

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”

Madison Ranks Among Peace Corps’ Top Volunteer-Producing Metropolitan Areas in 2016

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Today, Peace Corps announced that Madison, Wisconsin ranks No. 8 among metropolitan areas with the highest number of Peace Corps volunteers. There are 40 volunteers from Madison and 199 volunteers from Wisconsin currently serving worldwide. Since the agency’s founding in 1961, 6,160 Wisconsinites have served in the Peace Corps.

“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.”

Madison made a significant 12-spot climb from last year’s rankings. For the past three years, the University of Wisconsin-Madison occupied the No. 1 and No. 2 spots on the top volunteer-producing universities in the country. Wisconsin volunteers are among the more than 220,000 Americans who have served around the world as agriculture, community economic development, education, environment, health and youth in development volunteers since 1961.  Continue reading “Madison Ranks Among Peace Corps’ Top Volunteer-Producing Metropolitan Areas in 2016”

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”