Peace Corps Reports Increasing Interest in Overseas Service ; New Opportunities for Students to Serve as Peace Corps Volunteers
April 23, 1998Washington, D.C., April 23, 1998 Ð Interest in the Peace Corps is up, and with that increased attention to overseas service, there are expanding opportunities for college students who want to experience "the toughest job you'll ever love."
"For more than 37 years, college students, with their energy, dedication, and desire for adventure, have been the backbone of the Peace Corps," said Peace Corps Director Mark Gearan. "We are proud that students feel the same today about the Peace Corps as many of their parents did in the 1960s, and that we are at a time where we can provide students new opportunities to experience an ever-changing world."
Last year, more than 150,000 individuals contacted the Peace Corps to get information about serving as a volunteer, an increase of more than 40 percent since 1994. With interest growing, President Clinton has proposed expanding the number of Peace Corps volunteers to 10,000 by the year 2000, a 50 percent increase over the current number of volunteers.
With the largest funding increase requested since the 1960s, the Peace Corps is turning to its stronghold to fill the thousands of new slots Ð- American college students. Currently, 97 percent of Peace Corps volunteers hold a bachelor's degree.
Today, nearly 6,500 Peace Corps volunteers are serving in 83 countries, working to help fight hunger, bring clean water to communities, teach children, start new small businesses, and prevent the spread of AIDS. Since 1961, more than 150,000 Americans have joined the Peace Corps.