With 12 alumni currently working for the Peace Corps, Allegheny College ranks in the top 10 small colleges and universities that contribute to the service organization. According to the Peace Corps website, as of 2014, Allegheny ranked number eight.
The Peace Corps is a way for people to serve in foreign countries and meet those countries’ needs for trained volunteers. The program also seeks to foster greater cultural understanding and tolerance.
Lori Frola, the regional representative for the Peace Corps in western Pennsylvania, mentions that the 12 Allegheny alumni work across the globe.
“Allegheny alumni are currently serving in Albania, Botswana, Dominican Republic, Ethiopia, Madagascar, Moldova, Paraguay, Senegal, South Africa, Tanzania and Zambia. They work in sectors including agriculture, education, environment, health, community economic development and youth development,” Frola said.
According to Jim Fitch, director of career education, citizens who choose to become involved in the Peace Corps have opportunities open to them if they are accepted.
“Some of the benefits include foreign language training, travel, the sense of accomplishment that comes with bringing about a project in another country,” Fitch said.
Since the inception of the Peace Corps in 1961, more than 3,000 colleges and universities have become involved, including 200 Allegheny alumni, said Frola.
Fitch believes Allegheny is such a large contributor to the Peace Corps because of Allegheny’s strong sense of service and helping others.
“Service is a large part of Allegheny,” he said. “Every year we serve over 150,000 hours of community service. I think that the service is something that comes with students when they come to Allegheny, they further invest themselves here and they want to know how they can give back when they leave Allegheny,” Fitch said.
Kelly Sherretts, ’19, believes that the Peace Corps is beneficial to students because it gives them experience dealing with people in other countries.
“The Peace Corps has many benefits to students as it gives them a real world experience in other countries and how the U.S. can have a helpful impact on our world,” Sherretts said.
Students who are interested in the Peace Corps can go to PeaceCorps.gov or email Lori Frola at [email protected] for more information on how to apply.