Peace Corps Congratulates Freedom Corps on First Anniversary

January 30, 2003

WASHINGTON, D.C., Jan. 30, 2003 - Today, the USA Freedom Corps celebrated its first year anniversary. Peace Corps Director Gaddi H. Vasquez praised the staff of the USA Freedom Corps for their commitment to service and thanked them for the valuable work of promoting service throughout the United States.

Launched on January 30, 2002, as part of President Bush’s new initiatives to encourage Americans to serve the nation, the USA Freedom Corps was created to foster a culture of service, citizenship, and responsibility. The USA Freedom Corps has served the Peace Corps and 60,000 other service organizations over the past year by linking potential volunteers to suitable service opportunities. Both the USA Freedom Corps and the Peace Corps are helping the President to reach his goal of having every American dedicate at least 4,000 hours of volunteer service to others at home or abroad.

On March 1, 1961, President John F. Kennedy signed an executive order establishing the Peace Corps. Since then, more federal service programs have been created such as Citizen Corps, AmeriCorps, Senior Corps, and most recently, the USA Freedom Corps.

Since 1961, more than 168,000 Volunteers have served in the Peace Corps, working in such diverse fields as agriculture, HIV/AIDS education, small business and community development, education, environmental conservation, healthcare and information technology. Peace Corps volunteers must be U.S. citizens and at least 18 years of age. Peace Corps service is a two-year commitment.

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