MISSOULA – Missoula made the Peace Corps’ list of Top Metropolitan Areas in producing Peace Corps volunteers per capita, jumping four places this year to the No. 2 spot with 8.1 volunteers per 100,000 residents.
The Peace Corps recently released the 2014 rankings of the top volunteer-producing states and metropolitan areas across the country. Montana ranked No. 7 among states with the highest number of Peace Corps volunteers per capita, with 4.1 volunteers currently serving worldwide per 100,000 residents.
“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, 1,389 Peace Corps volunteers from Montana have traveled abroad to serve their country in the cause of peace by living and working in developing countries.
This is the second year Montana has been ranked in the top 10. To view a list of states and corresponding volunteer numbers, visit http://files.peacecorps.gov/images/news/releases/14-PRS-topstates.pdf.
“Montana and Missoula produce volunteers who are devoted to taking their skills abroad and who strive to bring a unique perspective to the communities they serve,” said Erin Carlson, acting manager of the Peace Corps West Coast Region. “We are pleased to recognize the state’s volunteers who set the bar high for commitment, dedication and performance.”
In 2011, the University of Montana became the first public university in the country to partner with the Peace Corps to offer the Peace Corps Preparatory Program. Additionally, any UM student can earn a Peace Corps certificate through participation in the international development studies minor in UM’s College of Arts and Hummanities.
The Peace Corps sends 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.
For more information about the Peace Corps, visit http://umt.edu/peace-corps. To speak with UM’s Peace Corps campus representative Amber Gladney in the Office of Career Services, call 406-243-2839 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.