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Peace Corps Recognizes Top Volunteer-Producing Hispanic Serving Institutions

WASHINGTON, D.C. April 3, 2012 The Peace Corps is proud to recognize the top Peace Corps volunteer-producing Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs). This year, California State University, Fullerton holds the top rank among HSIs with 27 undergraduate alumni serving as Peace Corps volunteers.

Peace Corps proudly congratulates these leading Hispanic Serving Institutions that have encouraged countless students to serve others through Peace Corps service worldwide, said Peace Corps Director Aaron S. Williams (returned Peace Corps volunteer, Dominican Republic, 1967- 1970). Peace Corps volunteers work at the grassroots level with community members to find sustainable solutions in health, education, environment, business, youth and agriculture.

The following are the top ten Peace Corps volunteer-producing HSIs. The numbers in parentheses represent the number of alumni currently serving as Peace Corps volunteers:

  • 1. California State University, Fullerton (27)

  • 2. California State University, Northridge (24)

  • 3. University of Miami (19)

  • 4. University of New Mexico (17)

  • 5. California State University, Los Angeles (11)

  • 5. Florida International University (11)

  • 7. California State University, San Bernardino (8)

  • 7. California State University, Fresno (8)

  • 7. University of Texas at San Antonio (8)

  • 10. St. Edwards University, Austin (7)

Peace Corps volunteer Kelly Belz is a California State University, Fullerton graduate who has been working as in HIV prevention in Ethiopia since May 2011.

As a health science major, we were taught how to go into a community, see what the health needs are, and design a plan of action, Belz said. Unfortunately, these skills and tools cant be used to their full ability in the United States. A town wont just let you walk in, find out with the problems are, and try to design a program to fix that issue, and they certainly arent going to give you money or fundraise to do it. On the other hand, all these things are possible to do in the Peace Corps.

Currently, there are more than 600 Peace Corps volunteers of Hispanic origin serving as volunteers worldwide. Peace Corps service provides both tangible benefits and a life-defining leadership experience. Peace Corps volunteers return from service as global citizens and receive support from the Peace Corps in the form of career services, graduate school opportunities, advantages in federal employment, readjustment allowances, and loan deferment and cancellation opportunities.

Peace Corps nine regional recruiting offices across the United States work to recruit and provide information and guidance to prospective Peace Corps volunteers. Potential applicants can connect with a local recruiter and locate their local regional recruiting office by visiting the Peace Corps website here. Family and friends who would like to read about Peace Corps in Spanish click here.

About the Peace Corps: Since President John F. Kennedy established the Peace Corps by executive order on March 1, 1961, more than 200,000 Americans have served in 139 host countries. Today, 9,095 volunteers are working with local communities in 75 host countries. Peace Corps volunteers must be U.S. citizens and at least 18 years of age. Peace Corps service is a 27-month commitment and the agencys mission is to promote world peace and friendship and a better understanding between Americans and people of other countries. Visit www.peacecorps.gov for more information.

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