Office of Public Engagement

A Call to Peace: Perspectives of Volunteers on the Peace Corps at 50

Since the Peace Corps was established in 1961, more than 200,000 Peace Corps volunteers have promoted world peace and friendship in 139 countries around the world. The stories of these Americans who have served are powerful, moving, and inspiring.

Civic Enterprises, the National Peace Corps Association and Peter D. Hart Research Associates recently collaborated to hear directly from Returned Peace Corps Volunteers (RPCVs). Surveying over 11,000 RPCVs and leaders, "A Call to Peace: Perspectives of Volunteers on the Peace Corps at 50" (pdf) is the story of the individuals who shaped and defined the organization since its inception.

The report hopes that the voices of the RPCVs themselves will serve as guides for the next 50 years. The stories echo the Peace Corps' mission of advancing peace. They also reinforce the words of Sargent Shriver in closing his Class Day Remarks at Yale in 1994, "I hope you remember to believe in things 'til you die. I hope you remember to be guided by beliefs powerful enough to change the world. I hope you remember the example of the Peace Corps Volunteer, the Head Start parent, the Special Olympics athlete. They each in their own way are waging peace."

The full report is available here: "A Call to Peace: Perspectives of Volunteers on the Peace Corps at 50" (pdf).

Please visit the Peace Corps website to find out more about the agency and please visit the White House Service page to find out more about President Obama's Service Guiding Principles.

Jon Carson is Deputy Assistant to the President and Director of the Office of Public Engagement and RPCV, Honduras '04-'06.

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