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Eugene residents finding Peace

The following excerpt comes from The Register-Guard in Eugene, Oregon, and was originally published on December 12, 2011.

Eugene is no stranger to the Peace Corps; its mayor was a volunteer in the 1960s, the University of Oregon is one of the top Peace Corps recruiting schools in the nation, and Oregon itself ranks high in per-capita recruitment.

But now, for the first time ever, Eugene-Springfield has been recognized as a top Peace Corps volunteer metropolitan area.

The volunteer agency has named the local area the fourth highest per-capita recruiting metropolitan area in the nation with 36 active Peace Corps volunteers hailing from here, which translates to 10.3 volunteers per 100,000 residents.

The news comes as a bit of a surprise for some of Eugenes past Peace Corps volunteers, but they say it makes sense.

Dorothy Soper, president of the Eugene-based West Cascade Peace Corps Association, said she didnt know Eugene was considered such a good recruiting ground for Peace Corps volunteers, but the news didnt come as a shock.

All of Oregon seems responsive to Peace Corps values, Soper said.

Soper was a new Stanford University graduate when she became a Peace Corps volunteer in 1963. She was assigned to Ghana, where the first Peace Corps mission had begun two years earlier. She taught high school French, leaving the country in 1965.

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