For Atlanta University Center institutions, service is a core principle, with each institution placing a priority on service-learning projects. Two AUC institutions have been recognized by the nation’s foremost international service organization. The Peace Corps named Spelman and Morehouse top historically black colleges and universities volunteer-producing institutions.
In April, Carrie Hessler-Radelet, Peace Corps director, announced the 2015 top volunteering-producing HBCUs. While Howard University claimed the top spot for the fourth consecutive year, with 13 currently enrolled as volunteers, Spelman, which has 8,000-plus fewer students than Howard, came in second with eight enrolled volunteers.
“Peace Corps service is an opportunity unlike any other – a chance to make a difference in some of the world’s most vulnerable, hard-to-reach communities and a launching pad for a 21st-century career,” said Hessler-Radelet. “Volunteers with diverse backgrounds bring unique intercultural experiences to the communities they serve and help promote a greater understanding of who we are as Americans.”
For the first time, two schools tied for third place. Morehouse College in Atlanta and Norfolk State University in Virginia both ranked third, each with four currently serving abroad.
College graduates who volunteer with the Peace Corps make a lasting difference in the lives of others while receiving intensive intercultural, leadership, language and technical training that gives them a competitive edge in today’s job market. They develop vital life skills and get hands-on program management experience that employers are looking for now more than ever. Peace Corps volunteers may also be eligible for various forms of student loan relief, including deferment, partial Perkins Loan cancellation and Public Service Loan Forgiveness.
Over the last year since Peace Corps’ announcement of historic recruitment reforms, the agency has expanded its reach to attract the best and brightest the U.S. has to offer and field a volunteer force that reflects the rich diversity of the American people. In addition to hiring dedicated diversity recruiters and hosting diversity focused recruitment events, the Peace Corps is partnering with diverse institutions like Howard so Americans of all backgrounds know about service opportunities with the Peace Corps.
Peace Corps’ 2015 top volunteer-producing Historically Black Colleges and Universities are:
- Howard University (13 currently serving volunteers)
- Spelman College (eight currently serving volunteers)
- Morehouse College (four currently serving volunteers)
- Norfolk State University (four currently serving volunteers)
*Rankings are calculated based on fiscal year 2014 data as of Sept. 30, 2014, as self-reported by Peace Corps volunteers.
About the Peace Corps: 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.
Story and photos courtesy of the Peace Corps. For more information, visit: www.peacecorps.gov.