Peace Corps Announces 2015 Top Hispanic-Serving Institutions for Volunteers

WASHINGTON, D.C., June 3, 2015 – The Peace Corps today announced its 2015 rankings of the top volunteer-producing Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs) nationwide. The University of California, Santa Cruz claimed the top spot among HSIs with 42 undergraduate alumni serving as Peace Corps volunteers. Another University of California school – the University of California, Santa Barbara – took the No. 2 spot with 38 graduates currently serving, and the University of New Mexico held on to the No. 3 spot for the second consecutive year with 29 alumni in service.

This year marks the first time a school in the University of California system has held the top spot in Peace Corps’ rankings of HSIs. The University of California, Santa Cruz also appeared on the agency’s national list of top volunteer-producing colleges and universities this year at No. 13 among large undergraduate schools. California is home to eight of the top ten HSIs in 2015 and produces more Peace Corps volunteers than any other state.

Peace Corps volunteer Jenesis Bonilla

“Hispanic-Serving Institutions are sending a growing number of graduates to the Peace Corps to share their cultural experiences and knowledge with communities abroad,” Peace Corps Director Carrie Hessler-Radelet said. “A diverse volunteer force shows people across all corners of the world what it means to be an American.”

College graduates who volunteer with the Peace Corps make a lasting difference in the lives of others while receiving intensive intercultural, leadership, language and technical training that gives them a competitive edge in today’s global economy. They develop vital life skills and hands-on project management experience that employers are looking for now more than ever. Peace Corps volunteers may also be eligible for various forms of student loan relief, including deferment, partial Perkins Loan cancellation and Public Service Loan Forgiveness.

“My first intercultural experiences took place during my time as a student at UCSC,” said Peace Corps volunteer Jenesis Bonilla, who received a bachelor’s degree in American studies from the University of California, Santa Cruz before departing for service in Guatemala. “Growing up as a child of Mexican immigrants, I learned that respect for other cultures is key to success.”

Peace Corps’ 2015 top volunteer-producing Hispanic-Serving Institutions are:
1. University of California, Santa Cruz (42 currently serving volunteers)
2. University of California, Santa Barbara (38 currently serving volunteers)
3. University of New Mexico (29 currently serving volunteers)
4. California State University, Long Beach (26 currently serving volunteers)
5. Humboldt State University (25 currently serving volunteers)
5. San Diego State University (25 currently serving volunteers)
7. University of California, Riverside (23 currently serving volunteers)
8. Florida International University (16 currently serving volunteers)
8. California State University, Fullerton (16 currently serving volunteers)
10. California State University, Chico (15 currently serving volunteers)

*Rankings are calculated based on fiscal year 2014 data as of September 30, 2014, as self-reported by Peace Corps volunteers.

Over the last year since Peace Corps’ announcement of historic recruitment reforms, the agency has expanded its reach to attract the best and brightest and field a volunteer force that reflects the rich diversity of the American people. In addition to hiring dedicated diversity recruiters and hosting diversity focused recruitment events, the Peace Corps is partnering with diverse institutions so Americans of all backgrounds know about service opportunities.

The Peace Corps has eight regional recruitment offices across the country that work closely with prospective volunteers, as well as an Office of Diversity and National Outreach that aims to recruit a diverse pool of volunteers and build an inclusive culture. Find the recruitment office near you by visiting the Peace Corps website here.

About the Peace Corps: The Peace Corps sends the best and brightest Americans abroad on behalf of the United States to tackle the most pressing needs of people around the world. Volunteers work at the grassroots level to develop sustainable solutions that address challenges in education, health, economic development, agriculture, environment and youth development. Through their service, volunteers gain a unique cultural understanding and a life-long commitment to service that positions them to succeed in today’s global economy. Since President John F. Kennedy established the Peace Corps in 1961, nearly 220,000 Americans of all ages have served in 140 countries worldwide. For more information, and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

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