The Peace Corps is an organization most people have heard of and known as an organization for young people to volunteer and learn while helping others around the world. Originally, the Peace Corps started as an executive order by President John F Kennedy in 1961 and headed by R. Sargent Shriver. There are many little known facts about this prestigious organization known for helping people internationally.
President John F Kennedy’s Initiative
- The inception of the Peace Corps was a continuation of Kennedy’s theme of getting Americans to do their part as a whole.
- The Peace Corps, designed as a way for Americans to make their mark in the international communities as working, helping and generous people of the world.
- President Kennedy signed Executive Order 10924, which established the Peace Corps on a temporary pilot basis.
$379 Million budget fiscal year 2014
- The largest portion, 40%, of the Peace Corps annual budget goes toward education. This makes sense since the majority of the volunteers are in programs serving Universities and Colleges across the country.
- The second largest portion of the budget, 22%, is allocated to Health. The Peace Corps works with schools, governments, and communities to develop sustainable communities with health services being a primary target for betterment.
- Environment, Economic development and agriculture are among the other expenditures in the budget.
- Communities learn how to grow their own food, be environmentally conscience and to use resources to maintain their better lifestyle.
The Peace Corps is more diverse than ever before
- Volunteers over age 50 reached an all-time high in 2013 at 8% of total Peace Corps volunteers.
- Minority volunteers jumped in 2013 to 24%, which is in line with the growing diversity of the United States.
- The Corporation for National and Community Service reported in 2013 that volunteering with the Peace Corps increased likelihood of finding a job.
- Volunteers are older and more specialized today providing better services to larger communities.
What is required of a Peace Corps volunteer?
- The Peace Corps volunteer is exposed to intensive skills, language and training before serving in another country.
- The program is a 2 year program that requires training, living among the community and at the level of the population where placed.
- Volunteers receive a stipend that covers housing, food and living expenses for the community they will be volunteering.
- The application process to become a volunteer takes seven to twelve months.
- Applicants must be a Unites citizen and at least 18 years of age.
Benefits of Peace Corps Volunteerism
- Most volunteers to the Peace Corp are highly educated, want to travel, love to help others and want to make a mark in the world. They return more educated, culturally enriched, well rounded, highly skilled and valued as employees by companies in philanthropy, government, social services and international companies.
- Besides the job-related benefits of the Peace Corps, there are student loan considerations, scholarship opportunities,
- $7,425 (pre-tax) readjustment allowance after completing the program.
- There is no fee to apply and many other benefits to joining a Peace Corps program.
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