Washington ranks no. 4 among Peace Corps’ top volunteers
The Peace Corps recently announced that Washington ranks No. 4 among states with the highest number of Peace Corps volunteers.
There are 317 volunteers from Washington currently serving worldwide, and 9,523 residents of Washington have served in the Peace Corps since the agency’s founding in 1961. Washington also ranks No. 4 among states with the highest number of Peace Corps volunteers per 100,000 residents.
“During my time leading the Peace Corps, I have seen the tremendous impact that volunteers have when they share their unique hometown perspectives with the communities they serve,” Director Carrie Hessler-Radelet said. “Volunteers represent our nation’s rich diversity by coming from all corners of the U.S. They are able to share our nation’s rich cultural heritage with communities around the world, leaving a legacy of peace and friendship that is timeless.”
The Seattle Metropolitan Area ranks No. 6 among all metro areas with 178 currently serving volunteers. On the list of top volunteer-producing states per capita, Olympia ranks No. 3 among metro areas with 8.2 volunteers per capita, and Bremerton ranks No. 8 with 6.2 volunteers per 100,000 residents.
Washington volunteers are among the more than 225,000 Americans who have served around the world as agriculture, community economic development, education, environment, health and youth in development volunteers since the agency was founded by President John F. Kennedy.
Andrea Edman was born and raised in Washington, and served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Cambodia from 2014 to 2016. Edman’s primary assignment in Cambodia was teaching English in a local school, but she also had the opportunity to complete secondary projects, including creating environment and art clubs for students, and building a basketball court where she led exercise classes.
“Washington is home to a very large population of generous people dedicated to helping others, and I definitely think that service is encouraged,” Edman said. “My passion for service began here in middle and high school and continued to grow after that, but I definitely attribute my dedication to humanity and helping others to the environment of Washington State and the Pacific Northwest.”
This year’s rankings follow the launch of a refreshed Peace Corps brand platform that embraces a digitally focused communications approach to make the agency more accessible to all audiences across the United States through the platforms they already use. Sweeping reforms in the application and recruitment system ensure that Peace Corps continues to build a volunteer corps of Americans from all walks of life. Applicants will now find a simplified, more personal application process, and can learn more by visiting the Peace Corps website and connecting with a recruiter.