Peace Corps…and other interesting facts about the Peace Corps and Washington state

March 1-7, 2010 is Peace Corps Week. In celebration of the Peace Corps promoting world peace and friendship for 49 years, the following are interesting facts about the Peace Corps and its connection to Washington state:

1961 Year the Peace Corps was founded by President John F. Kennedy

49 Number of years the Peace Corps has been promoting world peace and friendship

139 Number of countries the Peace Corps has served to date

76 Number of countries the Peace Corps currently serves

200,000 Approximate number of Americans who have served in the Peace Corps since 1961

8,430 Number of Washington residents who have served in the Peace Corps since 1961

3 Rank of Washington state for producing Peace Corps volunteers since 1961;
California and New York are first and second, respectively.

343 Number of Washington residents currently serving in the Peace Corps

199 Number of Seattle-area residents currently serving as Peace Corps volunteers

5 Rank of Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue in the country among metropolitan areas for
producing Peace Corps volunteers

1 Rank of University of Washington for producing Peace Corps volunteers
among universities and colleges in the U.S.

4 Number of consecutive years University of Washington has held the No. 1 spot

5 Number of Washington universities on the Peace Corps Top Colleges rankings —
University of Washington, Western Washington University,
University of Puget Sound, Gonzaga University and Evergreen State College

90 Number of minutes it will take to virtually travel the world through the eyes
of returned Peace Corps volunteers at Seattle’s Peace Corps Week Event
Friday, March 5 from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at the REI Flagship Store, 222 Yale Avenue N

28 Average age of Peace Corps volunteers

80+ Age of the oldest, currently-serving Peace Corps volunteers

8,000 Approximate number of Peace Corps volunteers serving every year

4,000 Approximate number of new Peace Corps volunteers needed every year

27 Months of service abroad in a Peace Corps assignment

94 Percent of Peace Corps volunteers who connect weekly to the Internet

21,000 Number of Peace Corps Fans on Facebook

Peace Corps volunteers serve in a variety of areas, including education, youth and community development, health and HIV/AIDS, business, agriculture, and the environment.

The benefits of being a Peace Corps volunteer include the following: monthly living allowance; medical and dental care; language, technical and cross-cultural training; 48 paid vacation days; possible student loan deferment and partial cancellation; and graduate school opportunities during or following service.

The Peace Corps provides both tangible benefits and a life-defining leadership experience with which Peace Corps volunteers return from service as global citizens.

As the Peace Corps approaches its 50th anniversary, its service legacy continues to promote peace and friendship around the world with 7,671 volunteers serving in 76 host countries. Historically, nearly 200,000 Americans have served with the Peace Corps to promote a better understanding between Americans and the people of 139 host countries. Peace Corps volunteers must be U.S. citizens and at least 18 years of age. Peace Corps service is a 27-month commitment. To learn more about the Peace Corps, please visit www.peacecorps.gov.

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