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Peace Corps Announces 2014 Top Hispanic-Serving Institutions for Volunteers

WASHINGTON, D.C., April 16, 2014 – The Peace Corps today announced its 2014 rankings of the top volunteer-producing Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs). San Diego State University claimed the top spot among HSIs with 33 undergraduate alumni currently serving as Peace Corps volunteers. California State University, Long Beach ranked No. 2 with 31 currently serving volunteers, and the University of New Mexico took the third spot with 26 currently serving volunteers.

California is home to seven of the top ten HSIs in this year’s rankings. The state produces more Peace Corps volunteers than any other state nationwide with 973 residents currently serving. Since the Peace Corps was established in 1961, more than 28,000 California residents have served overseas as Peace Corps volunteers.

“I applaud these Hispanic-Serving Institutions for elevating the value of service and encouraging their students to promote the rich diversity of the American people,” Acting Director Carrie Hessler-Radelet said. “We want every American to know about the Peace Corps, so we are stepping up our outreach in under-represented communities so our volunteer force represents the beautiful multicultural nation that we are.”

The Peace Corps recently announced that it is expanding its staff to include diversity recruiters in each of its eight regional offices to field a broader volunteer force that represents the very best of the United States. The agency also has an Office of Diversity and National Outreach that aims to recruit a diverse pool of volunteers and build an inclusive culture that welcomes applicants and volunteers from all backgrounds.

The 2014 top Hispanic-Serving Institutions for Peace Corps volunteers are:
1. San Diego State University (33 currently serving volunteers)
2. California State University, Long Beach (31 currently serving volunteers)
3. University of New Mexico (26 currently serving volunteers)
4. University of California, Riverside (24 currently serving volunteers)
5. California State University, Northridge (15 currently serving volunteers)
6. California State University, Fullerton (14 currently serving volunteers)
7. Texas State University (12 currently serving volunteers)
8. Florida International University (11 currently serving volunteers)
9. California State Polytechnic University, Pomona (9 currently serving volunteers)
9. California State University, Los Angeles (9 currently serving volunteers)
9. University of Texas at San Antonio (9 currently serving volunteers)

Peace Corps volunteer David Malana of San Dimas, Calif., attended two schools that made this year’s rankings: California State Polytechnic University, Pomona and California State University, Fullerton. Malana, whose “Kyrgyzstan is Me” video was selected as the winner in the 2014 Peace Corps Week Video Challenge, says the skills he gained in college prepared him for Peace Corps service in Kyrgyzstan.

“As a philosophy major at Cal Poly Pomona, I remember going over ‘The Giving Tree’ and exploring ways in which we should foster intellectual and mental flexibility in youth,” Malana said. “Lessons like that have helped me a great deal throughout my service in Kyrgyzstan, where rigid, lecture-based format is typical in education.”

Find the Peace Corps recruitment office near you by visiting the agency’s website here.

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

About the Peace CorpsAs 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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