California ranked No. 1 among states with the highest number of Peace Corps volunteers in 2014, with 926 volunteers currently serving worldwide.
“Peace Corps volunteers promote a better understanding of Americans around the world by sharing their unique hometown perspective during their service,” Peace Corps Director Carrie Hessler-Radelet said. “As we forge a modern Peace Corps for modern times, we remain committed to building a volunteer force that reflects the rich diversity of our country, and doing more to recruit and retain the best and brightest across the country.”
Since the Peace Corps was established in 1961, 29,418 Peace Corps volunteers from California have traveled abroad to serve their country in the cause of peace by living and working in developing countries. California’s volunteer production more than doubled that of New York, which took the second place spot with 412 volunteers. This is the third year in a row that California has held the No. 1 spot.
The Los Angeles Metropolitan Area and the San Francisco Bay Area also made the list of top volunteer-producing metropolitan areas. The Los Angeles Metro area ranked No. 1 in California and No. 3 nationally, with 263 volunteers currently serving abroad. The Bay Area, which produced 151 volunteers, took the No. 2 spot in California and No. 7 nationally.
“Promoting a better understanding of people and cultures around the world is at the heart and soul of our organization’s rich tradition of service,” said Erin Carlson, acting manager of the Peace Corps West Coast Region. “Congratulations once again to California and its community of volunteers who remind us that Peace Corps continues to embrace its global responsibilities while striving to make a genuine difference in today’s challenging world.”
The Peace Corps has eight regional recruitment offices across the United States that work closely with prospective Peace Corps volunteers of all ages and backgrounds to ensure that all Americans who want to serve have the opportunity to do so. The West Coast regional recruitment office serves Alaska, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Washington and Peace Corps recruiters are based locally throughout the region.
The Peace Corps sends the best and brightest Americans abroad on behalf of the United States to tackle the most pressing needs of people around the world. Volunteers work at the grassroots level to develop sustainable solutions that address challenges in education, health, economic development, agriculture, environment and youth development. Through their service, volunteers gain a unique cultural understanding and a life-long commitment to service that positions them to succeed in today’s global economy. Since President John F. Kennedy established the Peace Corps in 1961, nearly 220,000 Americans of all ages have served in 140 countries worldwide. For more information, visit www.peacecorps.gov.