Interest in Peace Corps Service Remains High; Application Requests Up, Web Traffic Still Record-Breaking At 3-Month Mark
April 30, 2002WASHINGTON, April 30, 2002—Three months after President Bush announced his intention to double the number of Peace Corps volunteers over the next five years, the Peace Corps continues to experience record Web traffic and inquiries from members of the public interested in volunteering. Following President Bush’s January 29 State of the Union address in which he announced the Peace Corps growth target as one way for all Americans to contribute volunteer service, the requests for Peace Corps applications rate is steady at nearly 40 percent over the same period last year, and Web site traffic remains 102 percent over last year.
The Peace Corps experienced an increase in inquiries about service after September 11, 2001. During the 48 hours following the President’s address, requests for applications (inquiries) rose over 300 percent over 2001 levels, logging a high mark at 12,950 inquiries for the month of February. Inquiries were 9,817 for the month of April, a 39.99 percent increase over April 2001.
During this same period of time, completed applications for Peace Corps service have risen totaling 3,280 received since January 29, an increase of 19.49 percent over last year. “The exciting part of the increased attention to volunteer service from the President,” stated Gaddi Vasquez, Director of Peace Corps, “is that people who were interested in devoting two years of service to the Peace Corps know that now is the right time.”
The Peace Corps’ Web site (www.peacecorps.gov) has maintained more than a 100 percent increase in the number of unique visitors to the site, with 117.5 million total hits and 479,000 unique visitors. The number of online applications has also seen a dramatic increase, with 10,575 applicants starting to complete their application over the last three months.
“The tremendous response of Americans who want to serve overseas with the Peace Corps is an inspiration,” said Vasquez. “After 40 years of service in 135 countries, the Peace Corps is well poised to grow and expand its mission of service and cross-cultural understanding. We are honored to support the President’s goal of expanding volunteer service overseas, and are eager to give U.S. citizens the chance to represent America in communities around the world and to bring their experiences back home.”
More than 165,000 volunteers have served in 135 countries since the Peace Corps was established in 1961. Today, more than 7,000 volunteers serve in programs to address business development, health and HIV/AIDS, the environment, education, agriculture and information technology.