WASHINGTON, DC – The Peace Corps today announced its 2014 rankings of the top volunteer-producing Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). For the third consecutive year, Howard University in Washington, D.C., claimed the top spot among HBCUs with 18 undergraduate alumni currently serving as Peace Corps volunteers. Howard made Peace Corps history earlier this year as the first-ever HBCU to appear on the agency’s national list of top volunteer-producing colleges and universities, ranking No. 16 among medium-sized undergraduate schools. Since 1961, 213 Howard alumni have served with the Peace Corps.
For the first time, Norfolk State University in Norfolk, Va., made this year’s list, ranking No. 3 among HBCUs with five alumni currently serving abroad. Spelman College in Atlanta took second place behind Howard with six currently serving alumni.
“We are thrilled to see a Historically Black University join this year’s national rankings of schools that send the greatest number of alumni to the Peace Corps,” Acting Director Carrie Hessler-Radelet said. “America is a beautiful multicultural country, and we want Peace Corps volunteers to represent the very best of the United States and show the world the rich diversity of the American people.”
College graduates with Peace Corps volunteer experience gain cross-cultural, leadership, language and community development skills that give them a competitive edge for 21st century jobs and advanced educational opportunities. They develop a global perspective that enriches the lives of those around them and helps to strengthen international ties and increase our country’s global competitiveness.
Howard University alumna China Dickerson of Washington, D.C., served as a Peace Corps volunteer in El Salvador from 2007-2009 and returned to Howard after her service to attend law school. The skills she gained at Howard prepared her for the Peace Corps and put her on track to return for her graduate education.
“Howard places a huge emphasis on the importance of service and a worldview,” Dickerson said. “Through my undergraduate studies, I was able to learn about different cultures, and when one of my professors suggested the Peace Corps as a next step after graduation, I decided to apply. I always thought I wanted to become a corporate lawyer, but during my Peace Corps service, I realized that my true passion is advocating for underserved communities. Now I’m back at Howard getting my law degree with the hopes of becoming a human rights attorney.”
The Peace Corps has eight regional recruitment offices across the country that work closely with prospective volunteers. Additionally, the agency’s Office of Diversity and National Outreach aims to recruit a diverse pool of volunteers and build an inclusive culture that welcomes applicants and volunteers who reflect the diversity of America. Find the recruitment office near you by visiting the Peace Corps website here.
Peace Corps’ 2014 top volunteer-producing Historically Black Colleges and Universities are:
- Howard University (18 currently serving volunteers)
- Spelman College (6 currently serving volunteers)
- Norfolk State University (5 currently serving volunteers)
*Rankings are calculated based on fiscal year 2013 data as of September 30, 2013, as self-reported by Peace Corps volunteers.