On March 1st, 1961, President John F. Kennedy issued an Executive Order for a program that would create a global impact far beyond his wildest dreams:
He called it the Peace Corps, and while he sadly never saw much of its effect, the Peace Corps has produced more than 225,000 Volunteers in 140 countries, with Volunteers working in governments, schools, non-profit organizations, non-government organizations, education, hunger business, information technology, agriculture, environment, and health education. “In an ever-changing world, Peace Corps Volunteers have met new challenges with innovation, creativity, determination, and compassion. From AIDS education, to emerging technologies, to environmental preservation, to new market economies, Peace Corps Volunteers have helped people build better lives for themselves. Their work in villages, towns, and cities around the globe represents a legacy of service that has become a significant part of America’s history and a positive image abroad” (Quotation retrieved from the Peace Corps About Us page).
Peace Corps’ Three Goals:
To help the people of interested countries in meeting their need for trained men and women.
To help promote a better understanding of Americans on the part of the peoples served.
To help promote a better understanding of other peoples on the part of Americans.
Fifty-five years after the Peace Corps’ birth, I embark on my own Peace Corps journey. I’m spending 27 months doing something that terrifies me just as much as it excites me. Working as a Youth Development Volunteer in Morocco, I hope to leave an impact that embodies everything our 35th President envisioned more than half a century ago.
For volunteer opportunities, careers, or fun facts, visit the Peace Corps website.