Penn State among Peace Corps’ Top Volunteer-producing Universities in 2014

(Provided photo)

(Provided photo)

The Peace Corps has released the 2014 rankings of the top volunteer-producing colleges and universities across the country. Penn State ranked No. 18 among large schools, with 42 undergraduate alumni currently volunteering worldwide. In 2013, Penn State ranked No. 21.

Penn State alumni are currently serving as volunteers in Armenia, Burkina Faso, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Guinea, Guyana, Jordan, Kyrgyz Republic, Liberia, Macedonia, Micronesia, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, the Philippines, Senegal, Swaziland, Tanzania and Ukraine. They work in areas including agriculture, education, environment, health, community economic development and youth development.

“The same passion that launched the Peace Corps more than 50 years ago fuels progress in developing countries today thanks to the leadership and creativity that college graduates bring to their Peace Corps service,” Peace Corps Acting Director Carrie Hessler-Radelet said. “The unique Peace Corps experience helps recent graduates cultivate highly sought-after skills that will launch their careers in today’s global economy.”

Since the first days of the Peace Corps, 1,013 Penn State alumni have traveled abroad to serve as volunteers.

“The problems and situations that Peace Corps volunteers live and deal with are very complex and interrelated,” said Mario Machado, a 2011 Penn State College of the Liberal Arts alumnus who recently returned from Peace Corps service in Paraguay. “Having a good theoretical background on things like poverty, agriculture, ecology and anthropology helps to put all those issues into context and to understand them not just on a surface level, but as part of a much bigger picture of the world.”

In 2013, Pennsylvania was the No. 8 Peace Corps volunteer-producing state in the nation, with 284 Keystone State residents serving overseas.

Service in the Peace Corps is a life-defining, hands-on leadership experience that offers volunteers the opportunity to travel to the farthest corners of the world and make a lasting difference in the lives of others. Peace Corps volunteers live and work at the community level and promote a better understanding between Americans and the people they serve, while at the same time becoming global citizens.

When they return home, volunteers bring knowledge and experiences that give them a competitive edge for 21st-century jobs and advanced educational opportunities. They give back to their own communities and enrich the lives of those around them, helping to strengthen international ties and increase our country’s global competitiveness.

The Peace Corps has eight regional recruitment offices across the United States that work closely with prospective volunteers to ensure that all Americans who want to serve have the opportunity to do so. The Northeast regional recruitment office serves Penn State, and Peace Corps recruiters are based throughout the region.

Penn State students interested in learning more about Peace Corps service should contact campus recruiter Elizabeth Ewaskio at peacecorps@psu.edu or 814-865-4594.

The Peace Corps ranks the top volunteer-producing colleges and universities annually according to the size of the student body.

Rankings are calculated based on fiscal year 2013 data as of Sept. 30, 2013, as self-reported by Peace Corps volunteers.

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 that enriches 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.

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