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GU Leads in Peace Corps Volunteering

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Gonzaga University is being acknowledged for its contribution to the Peace Corps. For the third year running, Gonzaga University was the number one recruiting school for small colleges in the U-S when it came to Peace corps volunteers.

The associate director of the Peace Corps, Helen Lowman, says a total of 330 Gonzaga alumni have served in the Peace Corps since its inception in 1961.

Lowman: “My feeling about Gonzaga is there is a real culture of service. They are really trying to train global citizens and give them an international outlook.”

As far as the way the Peace Corps operates in the 21st century, it’s much the same as when it began, with the same mission of world peace and friendship. There are some differences, though. Lowman says volunteers these days can offer more types of instruction.

Lowman: “There may be offering more technology, teaching students about computers and how to sue computers. There may be focusing on business methods or marketing for farmers.”

Another thing that is different is that volunteers these days may not be as isolated form their previous lives because many can still communicate with home via the internet. But even with that situation, it doesn’t prevent Peace Corps members from becoming a part of their community.

Lowman: “But slowly what you see with volunteers is they get that support from the community rather than their friends and family at home, because eventually it becomes more difficult form the people at home understand what you are going through.”

Lowman stresses that it’s not only college students who apply to join the Peace Corps. She says there is no upper age limit, and older folks are a great resource because of their life experiences. She says the oldest volunteer was an 87 year old woman who worked in Morocco.

To find out more, you can visit their website, peacecorps.gov.

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