Peace Corps Celebrates 44 Years of Global Service
February 28, 2005WASHINGTON, D.C., February 28, 2005 – The Peace Corps will commemorate its 44th anniversary throughout Peace Corps Week February 28 - March 6, with national and international events that celebrate the mission of promoting better understanding between the U.S. and other nations.
More than half a million students in the United States will welcome returned Peace Corps volunteers into their classrooms throughout the week. Peace Corps Week commemorates the March 1, 1961, signing of the Executive Order by President John F. Kennedy that established the Peace Corps.
"At a 29-year high in the number of Americans serving as volunteers, the Peace Corps is alive and well and has much to celebrate," said Peace Corps Director Gaddi H. Vasquez. "Peace Corps Week 2005 is a chance for thousands of volunteers to discuss how they helped citizens across the globe. It is also an opportunity for students and others to open their imaginations to the many cultures Peace Corps volunteers have experienced."
Director Vasquez will participate in events in the Washington, D.C. area – including a discussion with elementary school students and a forum with U.S. Agency for International Development employees – before heading to the West Coast. In California, Director Vasquez will hold a roundtable discussion with returned volunteers and address students at Chapman University in Orange, Calif.
This week, thousands of returned Peace Corps volunteers will share the experiences and insights they gained from their overseas service with their local communities across the country. Numerous classrooms across America will speak with Peace Corps volunteers currently serving overseas by participating in international phone calls. Others will give talks at elementary schools in the U.S., universities and community centers. For more information about an event in your area, please click here.
Students, potential applicants and others can also find out what life is like serving as a volunteer around the world by participating in daily online chat sessions through the Peace Corps' Web site. For more information, please click here.
Other events across the nation include:
Since 1961, more than 178,000 volunteers have served in the Peace Corps, working in such diverse fields as education, health, HIV/AIDS education and prevention, information technology, business development, the environment, and agriculture. Peace Corps volunteers must be U.S. citizens and at least 18 years of age. Peace Corps service is a 27-month commitment.