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Vermont leads nation in Peace Corps volunteers

WASHINGTON — Vermont tops the 2013 list of states with the highest per capita number of Peace Corps volunteers, reclaiming the national No. 1 spot it last held in 2010. Forty-nine (49) currently serving Peace Corps volunteers call the Green Mountain State home, making it the top Peace Corps volunteer-producing state in the nation on a per-capita basis, with 7.8 of every 100,000 residents currently serving in the Peace Corps.
In addition, the Burlington-South Burlington metro area ranked No. 2 per capita nationally, with 23 area residents serving as volunteers, a number which represents 10.8 of every 100,000 residents. Only Ithaca, N.Y., had a higher per capita ranking.
“Americans from all across our great country and all walks of life are drawn to the Peace Corps by a spirit of service and a passion for helping others,” Peace Corps Acting Director Carrie Hessler-Radelet said. “No matter where they start their journey, through their experience Peace Corps volunteers show the world the compassion, tolerance and dedication to service that has always characterized the American people.”
“With the help and support of the community members where I live, I designed and constructed a rural water system which brings clean drinking water to the doorsteps of approximately 35 families,” explained Ben Wargo of Burlington, a water and sanitation volunteer in the Dominican Republic. “In addition, I helped the community form a committee to manage and maintain the system once I leave.”
Since the Peace Corps was established in 1961, 1,474 Peace Corps volunteers from Vermont have traveled abroad to serve their country in the cause of peace by living and working in developing countries.
The University of Vermont also ranks No. 5 nationally on the Peace Corps’ 2013 Top Colleges list, which recognizes the highest volunteer-producing colleges and universities in the U.S., for medium-size schools.
Service in the Peace Corps is a life-defining, hands-on leadership experience that offers volunteers the opportunity to travel to the farthest corners of the world and make a lasting difference in the lives of others. Volunteers live and work at the community level to tackle the most pressing needs of people around the world and promote a better understanding between Americans and the people they serve. When they return home, volunteers bring their knowledge and experiences — and a global outlook — that give them a competitive edge for job opportunities in today’s global economy and enrich the lives of those around them.

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