Alumni volunteer for Peace Corps at high rate

University Communications

The University of Chicago is once again a top school for Peace Corps volunteers, sending its graduates around the world to work in a variety of sustainable development projects. UChicago consistently earns a spot on the agency’s annual list of the Top 25 mid-sized colleges that supply graduates to the program. The College produced 18 volunteers for the program in 2013.

“The well-rounded education I received at UChicago has been invaluable to my service,” said Claire Manning, AB’11. She has been working as a volunteer with the Peace Corps in Macedonia since September 2011. She teaches English classes to first- through eighth-graders, coordinates summer camps for young people and has helped host a biannual student film festival.

“My courses in anthropology allowed me to approach the culture with an open and inquisitive mind. My courses in psychology, especially child development, prepared me to work more effectively with my students, despite having no formal training as a teacher,” Manning said.

Eighteen graduates of the College are currently serving overseas as Peace Corps volunteers, and a total of 746 graduates have been Peace Corps volunteers since the program was founded more than 50 years ago.

Carrie Hessler-Radelet, acting director of the Peace Corps, said that volunteering is mutually beneficial for college graduates and the countries where they serve.

“The unique Peace Corps experience helps recent graduates cultivate highly sought-after skills that will launch their careers in today’s global economy,” she said. Volunteers return home with cultural, leadership and language skills that help them with educational and professional opportunities, she said.

With more than 30% of graduates working in careers in public service, UChicago is also ranked among the most service-minded liberal arts colleges in the country.