Peace Corps Releases New Book About Volunteer Experiences
September 5, 1997Washington, D.C., September 5, 1997—Peace Corps Director Mark Gearan today announced the publication of a new book of personal accounts of Peace Corps volunteers overseas. The book, Peace Corps: The Great Adventure, chronicles personal memories and anecdotes of Peace Corps volunteers spanning 36 years. Contributions to the book were made by more than two dozen returned Peace Corps volunteers, including HHS Secretary Donna Shalala, who was a Peace Corps volunteer in Iran from 1962-64, and New York Times reporter Karen DeWitt, who served in Ethiopia from 1966-68. Other well-known contributors include former President Jimmy Carter, whose mother, Miss Lillian, was a Peace Corps volunteer in India 1967-69, Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, and former White House Chief of Staff Leon Panetta, whose son, Chris, was a Peace Corps volunteer in Kenya from 1986-88. "Across the decades, the Peace Corps experience has profoundly affected many lives, from the volunteers to their families in the United States to those people they worked with in their host country," said Gearan. "This book speaks to the difference a single person—a volunteer—can make, and the daily challenges and the unforeseen exhilaration of Peace Corps service." In "Welcome to the 'Pace' Corps," Secretary Shalala writes: "The telegram came along with one rejection and one acceptance to law school. I remember it had a misspelling, 'Welcome to the PACE Corps.' The decision about what to do—law school or the Peace Corps—was easy. I was a child of my generation. I was a Kennedy Kid." Today, nearly 6,500 Peace Corps volunteers are serving in 87 countries, working to help fight hunger, bring clean water to communities, teach children, start new small businesses, and stop the spread of AIDS. Since 1961, more than 150,000 Americans have joined the Peace Corps. To get information about joining the Peace Corps or a copy of the book, please call Peace Corps toll-free at 1-800-424-8580.