University named among Peace Corps’ 2019 top volunteer-producing schools

Maddie Margioni, Contributing Writer

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The Peace Corps announced its 2019 list of top volunteer-producing schools in the United States on March 20. The University ranked sixth among small schools, which is an improvement from its placement as 13th in 2018.

 

Every year, the Peace Corps ranks its top volunteer-producing schools based on the size of the student body, while also providing an interactive map displaying where all of the volunteers are located abroad. The rankings and interactive map are published on the Peace Corps website.

 

There are currently 13 alumni from the University serving with the Peace Corps in countries around the world. These countries include Mexico, Colombia, Rwanda, Mozambique, Lesotho, Albania, and Indonesia.

 

“Bucknell University fosters an environment that encourages exploration and curiosity about the world around us. Not only are students shown many study abroad opportunities, they are also encouraged to go on service-learning trips that further motivate students to both see the world and help people,” alumna Roberta Blaho ’17, who is serving in Mongolia, said.

 

“We have seen time and again that the colleges and universities that produce the most Peace Corps volunteers focus on cultivating global citizens in addition to promoting scholarship…I am proud that so many graduates of these esteemed institutions leverage their educations to make the world a better place. They bring critical skills to communities around the world and gain hands-on, life-changing experience along the way,” Peace Corps Director Jody Olsen said.

 

The University has been consistent in producing volunteers for the Peace Corps since the organization’s founding in 1961. From that time to the present, over 295 University alumni have served as volunteers abroad. Pennsylvania as a whole recently ranked seventh among states with the highest number of Peace Corps volunteers, having produced 8,670 volunteers since the founding of the Corps by President John F. Kennedy. Since then, the organization has sent more than 235,000 American volunteers to 141 countries.

 

The Peace Corps website describes the organization and its purpose in the following terms: “The Peace Corps sends Americans with a passion for service abroad on behalf of the United States to work with communities and create lasting change. Volunteers develop sustainable solutions to address challenges in education, health, community economic development, agriculture, the environment, and youth development. Through their Peace Corps experience, volunteers gain a unique cultural understanding and a life-long commitment to service that positions them to succeed in today’s global economy.”

 

The Peace Corps also has three main goals to promote world peace: to help the people of interested countries in meeting their need for trained men and women, to help promote a better understanding of Americans on the part of the peoples served, and to help promote a better understanding of other peoples on the part of Americans.

To find more information on the Peace Corps and to answer any questions on becoming another one of the University’s alumni volunteers, visit this link: https://www.peacecorps.gov/about/.

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