Peace Corps announces 2019 top volunteer-producing Historically Black Colleges and Universities

April 29, 2019

A black American male plays music with his friend from Tanzania
Jeremy Butler, a Howard university graduate, serves as an agriculture volunteer in Tanzania.

WASHINGTON – For the eighth year in a row, Howard University holds the No. 1 spot on the list of top Peace Corps volunteer-producing Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). During 2018, Howard sent an impressive 20 alumni to serve in the Peace Corps—more graduates than it has sent since 2014.

Howard graduate Jeremy Butler currently serves as an agriculture volunteer in Tanzania.

“My time at Howard University took me on an unforgettable journey where I experienced many successes and a few pitfalls, but everything was worth it in the end,” said Butler, who grew up in Beltsville, Maryland. “I believe that my service in the Peace Corps will mirror that of my Howard University experience. In the Peace Corps I have had many successes and a few obstacles to overcome, but I’m more than confident that, just like with Howard University, my Peace Corps journey will be worth it.”

The No. 2 spot on the top volunteer-producing HBCU list goes to Spelman College in Atlanta. Spelman sent 7 alumnae to serve as Peace Corps volunteers around the world in 2018.

“The Peace Corps is committed to recruiting and supporting individuals who reflect the rich diversity of the United States while they serve abroad as Peace Corps volunteers,” says Peace Corps Director Jody Olsen. “Historically Black Colleges and Universities are critical in fostering a spirit of community among their student body, and we are proud to recognize the HBCUs that strive to encourage public service.”

Morehouse College, also in Atlanta, claims third place on the top volunteer-producing HBCU list. Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University ties with North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University for the No. 4 spot.

“I learned about the Peace Corps when I was in college,” said Florida A&M graduate and Peace Corps Philippines volunteer Kayla Valley. “A Returned Peace Corps Volunteer (RPCV) came to talk to the students at my school about Peace Corps and about her experience. It was then that I learned that one of my professors was also an RPCV. Once I learned about Peace Corps and became determined that I would apply, I was meeting RPCVs left and right,” added the Atlanta native. “Asking them to share their stories and experiences with Peace Corps only inspired me more and assured me that it would be an amazing and beneficial experience.”

Around 32% percent of Peace Corps volunteers self-report as racially or ethnically diverse, following the agency’s efforts to expand outreach to diverse communities across the United States. These efforts include increased engagement on HBCU campuses.

The Peace Corps seeks to bring unique cross-cultural perspectives to communities around the world. Recruiting and supporting a volunteer corps that represents the diversity of America remains a top priority.

Top 2019 Peace Corps volunteer-producing Historically Black Colleges and Universities

1) Howard University - 20

2) Spelman College - 7

3) Morehouse College - 5

4) Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University (tied) - 4

4) North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University (tied) - 4

About the Peace Corps: The Peace Corps sends Americans with a passion for service abroad on behalf of the United States to work with communities and create lasting change. Volunteers develop sustainable solutions to address challenges in education, health, community economic development, agriculture, the environment and youth development. Through their Peace Corps experience, 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, more than 235,000 Americans of all ages have served in 141 countries worldwide. For more information, visit peacecorps.gov and follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

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