President Bush Honors Atlanta Returned Peace Corps Volunteer for Commitment to Service

March 9, 2006

WASHINGTON, D.C., March 9, 2006 President George W. Bush presented the President's Volunteer Service Award today to Amber Davis-Collins, a returned Peace Corps volunteer from Atlanta who served in Honduras from 2002-2004.

"Amber embodies the spirit of service, dedication and commitment to making the world a better place that is central to all successful Peace Corps volunteers. We are honored that President Bush has chosen a returned volunteer as someone who epitomizes the spirit of service and civic participation, especially now as the agency celebrates 45 years of service to the global community," said Peace Corps Director Gaddi H. Vasquez.


Amber Davis-Collins and President Bush
Davis-Collins served as a volunteer in San Pedro de Tutule, La Paz, Honduras. As a volunteer, she worked with local women's groups to improve nutrition and reduce infant mortality rates through crop diversification. Davis-Collins is also a volunteer mentor with Cool Girls, Inc, an Atlanta based non-profit organization dedicated to the social and intellectual development of underprivileged girls. In addition, in January 2006, she helped coordinate a book drive in which more than 5,000 books were collected for schools in Hancock County, Mississippi, impacted by Hurricane Katrina. Her work with Latino farm worker issues earned her a bronze medal award from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Davis-Collins has a master's degree in agriculture education from the University of Georgia.

Davis-Collins wrote about her experience in the Peace Corps for the new book "A Life Inspired: Tales of Peace Corps Service," available from the government printing office, in libraries, and at Peace Corps recruitment events.

Since March 2002, President Bush has met with more than 475 individuals around the country, like Davis-Collins, to thank them for making a difference in the lives of others. In his January 2002 State of the Union Address, President Bush called on all Americans to make a difference in their communities through volunteer service. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than 65.4 million Americans volunteered in some capacity in 2005.

The number of Peace Corps volunteers in the field is at a 30-year high, with 7,810 volunteers serving in the farthest corners of the globe. Also this year, Peace Corps volunteers served on U.S. soil for the first time through the agency's Crisis Corps program. Since September 2005, 272 Crisis Corps volunteers have answered the call to service in the Gulf States following Hurricane Katrina.

The President's Volunteer Service Award was created at President Bush's direction by the President's Council on Service and Civic Participation. The award is available to youth ages 14 and under who have completed 50 or more hours of volunteer service, to individuals 15 and older who have completed 100 or more hours, and to families or groups who have completed 200 or more hours. For more information about the award, please visit www.presidentialserviceawards.gov.

The Peace Corps is celebrating a 45-year legacy of service at home and abroad, and a 30-year high for volunteers in the field. Since 1961, more than 182,000 volunteers have helped promote a better understanding between Americans and the people of the 138 countries where volunteers have served. Peace Corps volunteers must be U.S. citizens and at least 18 years of age. Peace Corps service is a 27-month commitment.

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