Two New Peace Corps Volunteers to Appear on NBC's Today Show on Wednesday, March 22; Grandmother and Granddaughter Will Begin Peace Corps Service at Same Time
March 21, 2000Washington, D.C., March 21, 2000—Phyllis Lichenstein and her granddaughter Sophie Hill, both of whom will begin their Peace Corps service in separate countries in May, will appear live on NBC's Today Show on Wednesday, March 22 in the show's second hour. Lichenstein, 73, of Salem, Ore., will serve in Lithuania as a non-governmental organization adviser. Hill, 22, of Portland, will serve as an environmental education volunteer in Panama.
Lichenstein said she and her late husband thought about joining the Peace Corps when President Kennedy first founded the agency in 1961, but were raising their family. After her husband died in 1998, Lichenstein began traveling around the world. When her granddaughter sent in her Peace Corps application, Lichenstein was inspired to follow suit. Hill graduated from the University of Oregon in June 1999, with a bachelor's degree in psychology and a minor in Spanish. The average age of Peace Corps volunteers is 28. About 7 percent of Peace Corps volunteers are over the age of 50. There are 31 volunteers 70 years-old or older. The Today show segment with Lichenstein and Hill will air between 8 a.m. and 9 a.m. (in most markets) on Wednesday morning, March 22.
Today, more than 7,000 Peace Corps volunteers are serving in 77 countries, working in education, the environment, health and nutrition, business advising, and community development. Since 1961, more than 155,000 Americans have joined the Peace Corps, working in 134 countries.