Statement from Peace Corps Director Carrie Hessler-Radelet on the 15th Anniversary of International Education Week

WASHINGTON, D.C., Nov. 17, 2014 – Today marks the beginning of the 15th annual International Education Week – an opportunity to celebrate international education and global exchange. Education is Peace Corps’ largest program, with 40 percent of volunteers working as elementary, secondary and post-secondary school teachers in communities abroad.

Watch a video message below from Peace Corps Director Carrie Hessler-Radelet in honor of International Education Week and Peace Corps’ commitment to education worldwide.

International Education Week is a joint initiative of the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Department of Education to promote programs that prepare Americans for a global environment and attract future leaders from abroad to study, learn and exchange experiences in the United States.

Greetings and Happy 15th Annual International Education Week.

I love to celebrate International Education Week, and it's not just because I was an education volunteer.

Education opens minds, expands horizons and frees the soul. It builds confidence, brings people together and opens doors.

And education is a fundamental part of the Peace Corps experience. Our commitment to education is reflected in our world-class training for volunteers, the teaching we do alongside our host country partners, our promotion of girls’ education and empowerment, and our sharing of Peace Corps stories at home.

The Peace Corps contributes to a more prosperous world that benefits the American people and the international community through education in so many ways to so many audiences.

The relationships Peace Corps volunteers build in communities across the globe last a lifetime. I meet someone nearly every day who was taught by a Peace Corps volunteer. Those whose lives have been changed by volunteers include world leaders and advocates who are working for change and progress. The Peace Corps’ 53-year legacy is truly exemplified by the millions of people whose lives have been changed forever by “their” volunteer.

And Peace Corps service has a lasting impact well beyond the volunteer’s 27-month commitment. Our returned volunteer community of more than 215,000 educates Americans by sharing their experiences and global skills at home; applying their technical, language and cultural skills across a variety of professions.

On this, the 15th anniversary of International Education Week, we hope you celebrate and learn with the Peace Corps, either virtually or in your own backyard. You can also find International Education Week on Facebook and join the conversation on Twitter by using the hashtag IEW2014.

On behalf of the Peace Corps family, Happy International Education Week!

Learn more about International Education Week here.

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