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PLU Ranks 3rd Nationwide for Peace Corps Volunteers

February 10, 2014

PLU Ranks 3rd Nationwide for Peace Corps Volunteers

PLU Marketing & Communications

Pacific Lutheran University has catapulted 15 spots up the Peace Corps’ list of the top volunteer-producing colleges and universities for 2014—from No. 18 all the way to No. 3.

The annual list recognizes small, medium, large and graduate institutions; PLU tied for third this year in the category of small universities (fewer than 5,000 students), with 16 undergraduate alumni currently serving as Peace Corps volunteers.Peace Corps Top Colleges 2013, Our Grads Make a World of Difference,

PLU has produced more than 250 Peace Corps volunteers since 1961—and it seems a natural fit.

“PLU graduates are driven toward programs like the Peace Corps because of their orientation toward others, their curiosity about how the world works and their commitment to addressing challenges that impact real people,” said Joel Zylstra, director of PLU’s Center for Community Engagement and Service. “The Peace Corps provides a framework for graduates to learn about themselves, to clarify their passions and to build solidarity with diverse communities across the world.”

And, as the Peace Corps acknowledges, service contributes globally, locally and personally.

“The same passion that launched the Peace Corps more than 50 years ago fuels progress in developing countries today thanks to the leadership and creativity that college graduates bring to their Peace Corps service,” Peace Corps Acting Director Carrie Hessler-Radelet said in a press release. “The unique Peace Corps experience helps recent graduates cultivate highly sought-after skills that will launch their careers in today’s global economy.”

College graduates with Peace Corps volunteer experience return home with a competitive edge for 21st-century jobs and advanced educational opportunities: They have cross-cultural, leadership, language and community development skills along with a global perspective. In addition, they give back to their communities in the United States and enrich the lives of those around them, helping to strengthen international ties and increase our country’s global competitiveness.

In 2013, Pacific Lutheran University ranked No.18 on the Peace Corps’ list for small schools, with 15 undergraduate alumni from PLU serving overseas. The year before, PLU produced nine volunteers.

As the preeminent international service organization of the United States, the Peace Corps sends Americans abroad to tackle pressing needs of people around the world. Peace Corps volunteers work at the grassroots level with local governments, schools, communities, small businesses and entrepreneurs to develop sustainable solutions that address challenges in education, health, economic development, agriculture, environment and youth development.

President John F. Kennedy established the Peace Corps in 1961 to foster a better understanding among Americans and people of other countries. Since then, more than 215,000 Americans of all ages have served in 139 countries worldwide.

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