American TESOL Institute & World Wise Schools


World Wise Schools has matched up Peace Corps Volunteer Julia H. with American TESOL Institute for a two-year exchange of ideas, stories, pictures, and artifacts that help ATI students in the classroom learn about the people, geography, environment, and the culture of the world.

Hey ATI students! Mwa la la po? (how are you all in Oshiwambo, the local language). My name is Julie and I'm currently a Peace Corps volunteer serving in Namibia in Southern Africa and will be here for 2 years. I arrived in Namibia in August when I completed a two-month training program in a town called Okahandja. The training consisted of medical, safety, technical, cultural and language sessions from 8:30 to 5 everyday during the week and sometimes even on Saturdays! There were 45 Americans with us from all over the US since the beginning and we spent all that time together so you can imagine we all became pretty good friends. While in Okahandja, we all lived in different neighborhoods with host families so it was a really good introduction to Namibia and its people and culture.

After 8 weeks as Peace Corps trainees in Okahandja, we swore in as volunteers on October 16 and moved to our sites the next day! The volunteers in our group are spread out throughout the entire country and the majority of our group are English, Science, or Math teachers since we are all education volunteers (there are also health volunteers in Namibia). I am a bit of a special case because although technically I am lumped in with the education volunteers, I actually am not a teacher at a school. I am an ICT Volunteer (Information and Communications Technology) and am working at a community library at my site. Of our group, there are four ICT Volunteers and only two of us won't be at schools.

So now that you have the background, I can tell you a little bit about my site, which I have been at now for two weeks! I was placed in a small town called Omuthiya in Owamboland which consists of four regions in the Northern part of the country. Omuthiya was recently proclaimed a town and is definitely in the PROCESS of developing. I kind of feel like I have the best of both worlds here since I do have some of the amenities of a town but also live 4km off the main road (about an hour's walk) in a village. I definitely mean *some* amenities since there is no grocery store here and I have to travel 80km to my shopping town of Ondangwa to buy food! I am living on a traditional Owambo homestead with a host family who are really awesome. A homestead is a collection of huts and houses owned by one extended family and surrounded by a ton of land. My Meme and Tate (Mother & Father in Oshiwambo) are older and their kids are all grown and have moved away but there are several Namibian students (or learners, as they are called here) who live here and help out because of the homestead's proximity to local schools. Additionally, there are several farmers who also live and work here. I have my own little 4-room concrete house on the homestead and there is no electricity or running water. There is a water tap in a different section of the homestead so I am able to fetch water whenever I need it. A lot of other volunteers on homesteads have bucket showers and pit latrines but I am lucky enough to have a flush toilet and (cold!) shower which are both located in another little house on the homestead.

My job is still pretty new which means I'm still getting the hang of things and figuring things out but I'm really liking it so far. I am currently helping to open a new library in town which has included setting up a computer lab there, helping to move in furniture, facilitating setting up the internet, and organizing and shelving books. Organizing the books is what my days mostly consist of right now. It's very time consuming! I can't wait for the library to actually be open. I have lots of ideas for what I want to do there when community members start using it!

So that's a little snapshot of my life right now. It's all very new and exciting and I'm really liking it! Where are some of the places that you all will be teaching? What are some of your reasons for wanting to teach abroad?? I'd love to hear about you guys!! Feel free to e-mail with any questions - I'll do my best to answer you as quickly as I can. Talk to you soon!!


Ashley Bell Named Peace Corps Associate Director for External Affairs

Ashley Bell

Washington,D.C., July 7, 2017 ? Today, Peace Corps announced Ashley Bell as the newAssociate Director for External Affairs. As head of ExternalAffairs, Bell will oversee Peace Corps? Offices of Communications, CongressionalRelations, Gifts and Grants Management and Strategic Partnerships and IntergovernmentalAffairs.

?Peace Corpsvolunteers represent the best the United States has to offer and I am gratefulfor the opportunity to support an agency founded in the American ideal ofserving others,? Bell said. ?As head of External Affairs, my hope is tohighlight to the public the vital role Peace Corps plays in irrevocably changingthe lives of both volunteers and the communities they help.?

Bell joinsPeace Corps with a wealth of experience in external affairs and internationalrelations. Prior to Peace Corps, Bell served as a special advisor in the PublicAffairs Bureau of the Department of State, where he developed strategy aroundthe Secretary of State?s domestic engagement agenda. During the presidential transition,Bell served as the communications and intergovernmental affairs lead on thelanding team at the Department of State.

Beforejoining the Trump Administration, Bell was a senior strategist forcommunications at the Republican National Committee (RNC). As national directorof African American political engagement for the RNC, he managed and providedstrategic direction to over 200 RNC field employees and thousands ofvolunteers. He is the founder, chief executive officer and chairman of 20/20Leaders of America. A lawyer by trade, Ashley began his career as a publicdefender, and later became a trial attorney and co-founder of the law firm Bell& Washington LLP, based in Atlanta, Georgia. He is a graduate of ValdostaState University and obtained his law degree from Louisiana State University.

First Group of Two-Year Peace Corps Volunteers to Begin Service in Myanmar

WASHINGTON,D.C., May 26, 2017? Today, Acting Peace Corps Director Sheila Crowley joined U.S.Charge d?affaires Kristen Bauer and the Rector of East Yangon University, Dr.Kyaw Kyaw Khaung, in Yangon, Myanmar to swear in Myanmar?s first-ever two-yearPeace Corps volunteers. After ten weeks of pre-service training, the 15 newvolunteers were sworn in at a ceremony at the Karaweik Palace before leavingfor their communities where they will teach English at local middle and highschools. Myanmar is the 141st country to invite Peace Corpsvolunteers to work and live in local communities.

?This day marks a new chapternot just in our volunteers? lives and careers ? but also for the Peace Corps,and for the partnership between the United States and the Republic of the Unionof Myanmar,? Acting Director Crowley said. ?I thank our Myanmar partners fortheir kindness, love, and warm welcome. We are honored to serve yourcommunities, and we look forward to working with you, side by side, shoulder toshoulder, towards a brighter future for all our children.?

At the request of theGovernment of Myanmar, Peace Corps is providing qualified American men andwomen to assist Myanmar in meeting education goals while also promoting abetter understanding between the people of the United States and Myanmar. ThePeace Corps? Myanmar program began in 2016 with a group of short-term PeaceCorps Volunteers who served in Yangon Region. Volunteers worked side by sidewith Myanmar teachers of English in basic education middle and high schools.

PeaceCorps volunteers around the world work with communities to strengthen localcapacity, facilitate cultural exchanges and build relationships that last alifetime. The Peace Corps works closely with local governments to support theirgoals and priorities such as upgrading education standards, improving thecapacities of teachers, and providing quality English language instruction tostudents.

Former President Jimmy Carter and Peace Corps Acting Director Sheila Crowley Present 2017 Lillian Carter Award
Peace Corps Acting Director Sheila Crowley and Former President Jimmy Carter with the 2017 Lillian Carter Award winner, Leita Kaldi Davis.

ATLANTA? On Wednesday, Former President Jimmy Carter was joined by Peace Corps Acting Director Sheila Crowley and Executive Director of the Atlanta Federal Executive Board Ron Stephens to present the 2017Lillian Carter Awardin the Cecil B. Day Chapel at the Carter Center in Atlanta, Georgia. The biennial ceremony recognizes an outstanding returned volunteer who served over the age of 50 and demonstrates commitment to the Peace Corps? third goal: To help promote a better understanding of other peoples on the part of Americans.

The Lillian Carter Award was established in 1986 in honor of former President Carter's mother, who served as a health volunteer in India in 1966 at age 68.

This year, Leita Kaldi Davis, 79, of Bradenton, Florida, received the award.?Rarely does one find an opportunity to change one?slife completely, become immersed in an unknown culture, live amongpeople who are kind, wise, and beautiful,? Davis said. ?For three years, as a Peace Corps volunteer, I found waysto help myneighbors with small economic advances, health problems, or education. And they helped me to understandwhathuman dignity really means,and how closely connected we are to the earth.?

Leita Kaldi Davis

Born and raised near Syracuse, New York,Leita Kaldi Davis of Bradenton, Florida, began her Peace Corps service inSenegal at age 55 in 1993. Davis spent two years working as a small enterprisedevelopment volunteer, eventually extending her service for a third year. As avolunteer, she helped women in her community launch their own business ofpicking and selling mussels at local markets and taught them how to refinetheir bookkeeping and increase profits. In addition, she built a warehouse fortheir operations with the help of a small projects loan.

From 1997 to 2002, Davis continued hertenure with the Peace Corps by serving as an administrator ofHospital Albert Schweitzer in Haiti, where she cared for Peace Corps volunteersin the field. She later returned to Senegal in both 2001 and 2005 tovolunteer at Africa Consultants International (ACI), for which she developedannual appeals and continues to coordinate fundraising efforts.

Prior to joining the Peace Corps, Davispursued adult education courses in literature and music at Syracuse University,University of Cincinnati, New York University, Tufts University, HarvardUniversity and Alliance Francaise in Paris. She worked as an administrativeassistant for the United Nations; a program officer at the Law and PopulationProgram, the International Social Studies Program, the Fletcher School of Lawand Diplomacy at Tufts University and the Harvard Institute for InternationalDevelopment; a conference manager at various Florida hotels; an assistantmanager of the International Executive Club at CenTrust Bank; and the directorof the Foundlings Women?s Club in Miami Beach. After her service, Davis workedas a substitute teacher and a lecturer at the University of South Florida?sLifelong Learning Academy. Davis retired in 2002.

Since completing her Peace Corps service,Davis has devoted much of her time to promoting the agency?s mission. She haspublished seven memoirs ? two of which document her service overseas, ?RollerSkating in the Desert? and ?In the Valley of Atibon? ? and 50 other articlesand stories. In addition, she taught a course titled ?Peace Corps at 50? at theLifelong Learning Academy. Davis has also delivered presentations about thePeace Corps to various groups and organizations ? including the U.S. NationalCommittee for UN Women and the American Foreign Service Association ? andfacilitated discussions at major book clubs about President Carter?s book,?Call to Action: Women, Religion, Violence and Power.?

Davis has been an active member ofreturned Peace Corps volunteer groups in South Florida and Gulf Coast Floridasince 1993 and 2006, respectively. She is also involved with UN Women andcollaborates with the Haitian Women of Miami (FANM) to support their communityprograms for immigrants. Davis received FANM?s Marie Claire Heureuse Award in2013 for ?outstanding leadership on women's rights, and for being an ambassadorfor social justice and global peace.?

The Peace Corps Celebrates the Legacy of President John F. Kennedy on the Upcoming Centennial of His Birth

WASHINGTON, D.C., April 28, 2017 ? In honor of President John F. Kennedy?s 100th birthday on May 29, the Peace Corps celebrates the legacy of the president who inspired generations of Americans to serve abroad. In the fall of 1960, then-Senator Kennedy challenged students at the University of Michigan to serve their country by helping those in need. President Kennedy?s idea led to a bold new experiment in public service and the establishment of the Peace Corps on March 1, 1961.

?I remember when JFK talked about the Peace Corps and of setting it up. I was in 5th grade. I was drawn to the possibility of serving my country,? said Paul Rodkey, 65, a current volunteer in Botswana. ?As my wife and I began to make plans for retirement the idea of serving in the Peace Corps became a strong draw again. We made the decision to apply and felt great joy when we did.?

While the Peace Corps has changed with the times over its 56-year history, the agency?s mission?to promote world peace and friendship?remains the same. The Peace Corps is committed to recruiting dedicated Americans who believe in the power of one person to make a difference. More than a half a century after its establishment, the Peace Corps demonstrates how the power of an idea can capture the imagination of an entire nation and change the lives of people in the United States and around the world for generations to come.

?I applied to Peace Corps because I knew firsthand the power of Peace Corps and how the work volunteers are doing now can help generations later. My parents are Liberian immigrants who came to the United States to pursue higher education,? said Nyassa Kollie, a current volunteer in Malawi. ?They have credited their love for knowledge and learning to Peace Corps volunteers in Liberia who taught them during very formative years of their lives.?

Since 1961, more than 225,000 Americans of all ages have responded to Kennedy?s call to serve and have helped communities in 141 countries around the world.

Peace Corps Mourns the Loss of Volunteer Cody Oser

WASHINGTON,D.C., April 9, 2017 ? Acting Peace Corps Director Sheila Crowley is saddenedto confirm the death of Peace Corps volunteer Cody Oser of Broomfield,Colorado. Cody, 24, passed away in the Comarca Ngbe Bugle region of Panama onApril 8, 2017.

?Cody?senthusiasm for helping others and knack for problem solving were remarkable andare a few of the many reasons he was so well-liked among fellow volunteers andin his community,? Acting Director Crowley said. ?His impressive engineeringskills made him stand out as a volunteer because he dedicated himself toworking with communities around the world to find solutions to their technologicalneeds. His passing is a profound loss for the Peace Corps community as we mournalong with his family and friends.?

Codywas a bright aspiring civil engineer and was excited to use his skills to findunconventional ways to bring technology to communities around the world. Beforestarting his Peace Corps service, Cody spent time in Kenya and El Salvador,working on engineering projects to help communities build potable waterstructures and solar-powered irrigation systems. When he applied to PeaceCorps, Cody expressed a desire to help communities navigate their engineering challengesand planned to do so with an open mind. ?I know that for mostrural communities, the challenges of obtaining proper materials, tools andfinancing are common but that there is never a shortage of clever solutionswhen you collaborate with the people in your host community,? he said in hisaspiration statement. Peace Corps staff were impressed early on that Cody?spassion for engineering was equal only to his enthusiasm for service andhelping others. Cody was veryenthusiastic about his future projects with the community of Cerro Gavilanfocused on latrine construction and formation and legalization of the watercommittee.

Cody graduated from Colorado StateUniversity with a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering and received minorsin Business Administration and International Development in 2015. Cody relishedin using his talents to help others and served as an Engineering Intern forSunCulture Solar Agriculture in Kenya and as a Project Leader for EngineersWithout Borders in El Salvador and Pine Ridge, South Dakota before leaving forservice. He was excited about learning languages and had studied Spanish,French and Swahili. In his free time, he loved exploring new topics, talkingpolitics, learning instruments, reading, drawing, running, martial arts,hiking, camping and traveling.

He is survived by his parents, Lynnetteand Steven Oser, his brother and sister-in-law Gabriel and Joanna Oser and hissister and brother-in-law Abbe and Jamie Gilroy.


Peace Corps Announces 2017 Top Volunteer-Producing Historically Black Colleges and Universities

WASHINGTON,March 28, 2017 ? Today, the Peace Corps announced its 2017 rankings of the topvolunteer-producing Historically Black Colleges and Universities. HamptonUniversity, Central State University and Prairie View A&M University all appearedon the agency?s annual ranking for the first time. Hampton debuted at No. 4with four alumni currently serving abroad as Peace Corps volunteers. CentralState and Prairie View both rank No. 5, earning a three-way tie with MorehouseCollege.

For thesecond year in a row, Howard University, Spelman College and Florida A&MUniversity hold the top three spots on the list. This is the sixth-consecutiveyear that Howard University produced the most Peace Corps volunteers amongHBCUs, with 18 undergraduate alumni currently serving overseas in 14 countries.Spelman College and Florida A&M University earned the No. 2 and No. 3spots, respectively.

?HistoricallyBlack Colleges and Universities cultivate a commitment to community-orientededucation that inspires their graduates to pursue international service and makean impact abroad with the Peace Corps,? Acting Peace Corps Director SheilaCrowley said. ?Each year, a growing number of HBCU alumni join the Peace Corpswith important experiences and perspectives that give communities overseas abetter understanding of the diversity of the United States.?

BothHoward and Spelman also appeared on Peace Corps? national list of top volunteer-producing collegesand universities this year, with Howard ranking No. 14 among medium-sizedundergraduate schools and Spelman ranking No. 7 among small schools. Since 1961, 242 Howard alumni and94 Spelman alumnae have served with the Peace Corps.

Service inthe Peace Corps is a life-defining, hands-on leadership experience that offersvolunteers the opportunity to travel to a community overseas and make a lastingdifference in the lives of others. College graduates with Peace Corps volunteerexperience gain cross-cultural, language and community development skills thatbuild upon their education and give them a competitive edge for career andadvanced education opportunities.

The Peace Corps has recruiters across the country that visit HBCUs andwork closely with prospective volunteers. By hiring dedicated diversityrecruiters and hosting diversity-focused recruitment events, the agency aims tobuild an inclusive volunteer force and ensure that all Americans know aboutservice opportunities with the Peace Corps.

Peace Corps? 2017 topvolunteer-producing Historically Black Colleges and Universities are:

1.HowardUniversity: 18 currently serving volunteers

2. SpelmanCollege: 11 currently serving volunteers

3. FloridaA&M University: 7 currently serving volunteers

4. HamptonUniversity: 4 currently serving volunteers

5. CentralState University: 3 currently serving volunteers

5. Morehouse College: 3 currently servingvolunteers

5. Prairie View A&M University: 3 currentlyserving volunteers

Asimple and personal Peace Corps application process can be completed online inabout one hour. Applicants can learn more about service opportunities byvisiting the PeaceCorps websiteand connectingwith a recruiter.

*Rankings arecalculated based on fiscal year 2016 data as of September 30, 2016, asself-reported by Peace Corps volunteers.

Peace Corps Mourns the Loss of Volunteer Cameron Burton

WASHINGTON, D.C., March 21, 2017 ? Acting Peace Corps Director Sheila Crowley is saddened to confirm the death of Peace Corps volunteer Cameron Willia Hali Burton of Glendale, California. Cameron, 25, died in an automobile accident in Malawi on March 20, 2017.

Cameron Willia Hali Burton

?Cameron?s compassion for others and drive to do all she could to make the world a better place are what made her a truly outstanding volunteer,? Acting Director Crowley said. ?She was passionate about public health and was wholeheartedly dedicated to working with communities at the grassroots level. I know I speak for the entire Peace Corps family when I say we are devastated that her promising life was cut short. Our hearts go out to Cameron?s family and friends.?

From an early age, Cameron (Cami) embraced her love of traveling and helping others. Whether it was visiting relatives in Europe or studying abroad in India, Cameron was always open-minded and excited to learn about other cultures. When she applied to the Peace Corps, Cameron noted that being easygoing would help her thrive as a volunteer. ?Being patient is a vital strategy to use when interacting with anyone, but especially when dealing with people whose culture differs from my own,? she said in her aspiration statement. Peace Corps staff are impressed by how committed and energetic Cameron was about her service. She worked at a local health center helping her community address concerns around malaria and ending preventable child and maternal deaths. Despite having been a volunteer for less than a year, Cameron?s energy and impact were notable. She was passionate about working with girls on empowerment issues and improving the lives of women in her community. She is remembered by her community as someone who cared deeply and was very dedicated to her work and to the people of Embagweni.

Cameron graduated Cum Laude from Tulane University with a Bachelors of Science in Public Health and continued her studies at Tulane?s School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, receiving a Masters of Public Health in 2015. Her passion for helping others is evidenced in her volunteer experiences. Before her Peace Corps service, she volunteered her time building homes with Habitat for Humanity, giving swimming lessons to low-income families, working with children and their families in New Orleans? Children?s Hospital, creating outreach materials for NOAIDS Taskforce, and conducting surveys for an organization focused on improving birth outcomes in New Orleans. In her free time, she enjoyed reading, writing, swimming, Zumba and watching movies.

She is survived by her mother, Carol Ann Burton, her father Alasdair John Hunter Burton, her three sisters Caitriana Elizabeth Mary Ahluwalia, Alexandra Donat Macphail Burton, and Gillian Lucy Anne Burton, her brother-in-law, Pranay Ahluwalia, and niece, Isobel Ahluwalia.


Peace Corps Announces 2017 Top Volunteer-Producing Schools

WASHINGTON,D.C., Feb. 28, 2017 ?For the first time in three years, the University ofWisconsin?Madison reclaims the top spot among Peace Corps? Top Volunteer-ProducingColleges and Universities list. There are currently 87 Badgers serving in 40countries around the world. For years, UW-Madison has consistently sent some ofthe largest cohorts of volunteers overseas and has maintained its place as the No.2 all-time volunteer producer with 3,239 alumni having served since 1961. Amongsmall schools, Denison University tops the list, making significant stridesthis year by jumping 13 spots from No. 14 in 2016. American University finally nabsthe No. 1 medium volunteer-producing university title, having been just shy ofthe top spot for the past two years.

Among graduate schools, TulaneUniversity remains in the top spot for the third-consecutive year and sharesits title with American University, with each institution having sent 20 alumnito serve this year. The University of California, Berkeley remains the all-timehighest producer of Peace Corps volunteers in the country, having had more than3,600 alumni answer the call to service since 1961.

?PeaceCorps service is an unparalleled leadership opportunity that enables collegeand university alumni to use the creative-thinking skills they developed inschool to make an impact in communities around the world,? Acting Peace CorpsDirector Sheila Crowley said. ?Many college graduates view Peace Corps as alaunching pad for their careers because volunteers return home with thecultural competency and entrepreneurial spirit sought after in most fields.?

Onceagain, District of Columbia-area schools have a strong hold on spots in themedium-sized colleges and universities category with American University?slocal rival, The George Washington University, ranking No. 3 this year. GeorgetownUniversity and Howard University earned the No. 6 and No. 14 spots,respectively.

Amongsmall schools, the University of Mary Washington moves up in the ranking to No.2, sharing the spot with the University of Puget Sound. Both St. Mary?s Collegeof Maryland and Hobart and William Smith Colleges make the largest leap in rankingsthis year with both schools moving from unranked to No. 4 among small schools,earning a three-way tie with Whitworth University. Spelman College appears onthe ranking for the first time at No. 7 in the small enrollment category, oneof two historically black college and universities to appear on the list alongwith Howard University.

Below find the top five schools ineach category and the number of alumni currently serving as Peace Corpsvolunteers.Viewthe complete 2017 rankings of the top 25 schools in each category here and find an interactive map that shows wherealumni from each college and university are serving here.

Large Colleges & Universities ? Total Volunteers:

More than 15,000 undergraduates

1. University of Wisconsin?Madison - 87

2. University of Washington-73

3. University of Minnesota-70

4. University of Michigan-60

5. University of Florida-58

Medium Colleges & Universities ? Total Volunteers:

Between 5,000 and 15,000 undergraduates

1. American University-54

2. Western Washington University-48

3. The George Washington University-45

4. The College of William & Mary-36

5. Humboldt State University-33

Small Colleges & Universities ? Total Volunteers:

Less than 5,000 undergraduates

1. Denison University-16

2. University of Mary Washington-13

2. University of Puget Sound-13

4. St. Mary's College of Maryland-12

4. Whitworth University-12

4. Hobart and William Smith Colleges-12

Graduate Schools ? Total Volunteers:

1. American University-20

1. Tulane University-20

3. University of South Florida-18

4. University of Michigan-15

4. Boston University-15

Historical, Since 1961 ? Total Volunteers:

1. University of California, Berkeley-3,640

2. University of Wisconsin?Madison-3,239

3. University of Washington-2,981

4. University of Michigan-2,684

5. University of Colorado Boulder-2,468

*Rankings are calculated based on fiscalyear 2016 data as of September 30, 2016, as self-reported by Peace Corpsvolunteers.

Peace Corps Announces Top Volunteer-Producing States and Metropolitan Areas in 2016

Washington,D.C. Metro Area reclaims no.1 spot for first time since 2009

WASHINGTON,D.C., Dec. 20, 2016 ? The Peace Corps today released its 2016 rankings of the topvolunteer-producing states and metropolitan areas across the country. For thefirst time in six years, Washington-Arlington-Alexandria is the largest metropolitan-areaproducer of volunteers, bumping longtime leader New York-Northern NewJersey-Long Island to no.2 on the total volunteers list this year. Vermont andCalifornia remain no.1 on the respective per capita and total volunteer-producingstates lists. Montana has also made impressive strides this year with Missoula,Montana making its first appearance since 2011 in the no.1 spot for top metro areas percapita and The Treasure State climbing to no.3 on the list of top states percapita.

For thefirst time, the District of Columbia and surrounding states appear on thisyear?s top states per capita rankings with D.C., Maryland and Virginia sittingat no.2, no.7 and no.8, respectively. This is Maryland?s first time in recenthistory on both the top states per capita (no.7) and total top states (no.9)lists. Washington-Arlington-Alexandria (no.6) joined fellow rankings newcomersIdaho Falls, Idaho (no.5) and East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania (no.10) on thetop metro areas per capita. This year is the sixth-consecutive year thatWashington State has appeared in all four ranking categories and, for the firsttime, shares the honor this year with Virginia and Maryland.

"Duringmy time leading the Peace Corps, I have seen the tremendous impact thatvolunteers have when they share their unique hometown perspectives with thecommunities they serve,? said Director Carrie Hessler-Radelet. ?Volunteersrepresent our nation's rich diversity by coming from all corners of the U.S.They are able to share our nation's rich cultural heritage with communitiesaround the world, leaving a legacy of peace and friendship that istimeless."

Thisyear?s rankings follow the launch of a refreshed Peace Corps brand platformthat embraces a digitally focused communications approach to make the agencymore accessible to all audiences across the United States through the platformsthey already use. Sweepingreforms in the application and recruitment system ensure that Peace Corps continuesto build a volunteer corps of Americans from all walks of life. Applicants willnow find a simplified, more personal application process, and can learn more byvisiting the Peace Corps website and connecting with a recruiter.

Belowfind the nation?s top 10 volunteer-producing states and metropolitan areas for2016. View the list of volunteer numbers from all 50 states here.

2016 TopStates ? Per Capita (# of volunteers per 100,000 residents)

1.Vermont ? 8.3

2.District of Columbia ? 8.2

3.Montana ? 5.0

4.Washington ? 4.5

5.Minnesota ? 4.3

5. Alaska? 4.3

7.Maryland ? 4.0

8.Virginia ? 3.9

8.Colorado ? 3.9

8.Oregon ? 3.9

8. Maine? 3.9

8. RhodeIsland ? 3.9

2016 TopStates ? Total Volunteers

1.California ? 916

2. NewYork ? 449

3.Virginia ? 328

4.Washington ? 317

5.Florida ? 313

6. Illinois? 301

7.Pennsylvania ? 300

8. Texas? 277

9.Maryland ? 241

10.Michigan ? 239

2016 TopMetropolitan Areas ? Per Capita (# of volunteers per 100,000 residents)

1.Missoula, MT ? 12.3

2.Burlington-South Burlington, VT ? 8.3

3.Olympia, WA ? 8.2

4. SantaFe, NM ? 6.7

5. IdahoFalls, ID ? 6.4

6.Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV ? 6.3

6.Boulder, CO ? 6.3

8.Madison, WI ? 6.2

8.Bremerton-Silverdale, WA ? 6.2

10. EastStroudsburg, PA ? 6.0

10. IowaCity, IA ? 6.0

2016 TopMetropolitan Areas ? Total Volunteers

1. Washington-Arlington-Alexandria,DC-VA-MD-WV ? 386

2. NewYork-Northern New Jersey-Long Island, NY-NJ-PA ? 379

3. LosAngeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana, CA ? 283

4.Chicago-Joliet-Naperville, IL-IN-WI ? 245

5.Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI ? 180

6.Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA ? 178

7.Boston-Cambridge-Quincy, MA-NH ? 176

8.Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, PA-NJ-DE-MD ? 154

9.Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Marietta, GA ? 140

10. SanFrancisco-Oakland-Fremont, CA ? 136

*PeaceCorps data current as of September 30, 2016. The metropolitan area data used todetermine Peace Corps? rankings are derived from the most current U.S. CensusBureau ?Metropolitan and Micropolitan Statistical Area? data. Volunteersself-report their home city and state on their Peace Corps application.

The Peace Corps Office of Inspector General Receives Two Awards for Excellence

WASHINGTON, D.C., Oct. 21, 2016 - The Peace CorpsOffice of Inspector General (OIG) received two awards for excellence at theCouncil of the Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency?s (CIGIE) 19thAnnual Awards Ceremony held on October 20, 2016.

CIGIE presented the Award for Excellence in Audits toan OIG team for their ?Audit of the Peace Corps? Healthcare Benefits AdministrationContract.? This audit examinedhow the Peace Corps, through its contractor, processes claims for medicalservices provided to its Volunteers. The audit team found seriousflaws in the Peace Corps? contracting practices and the contractor did notfully follow the terms in the contract. The audit found Peace Corps spent $1.2million on services that couldn?t be verified by records. Expert Jeffrey Lee,Lead Auditor Snehal Nanavati, Auditor Ann Lawrence, Former Assistant InspectorGeneral for Audits Bradley Grubb, Assistant Inspector General for Audits JudyLeonhardt, Deputy Inspector General and Legal Counsel Joaquin Ferrao, and formerAttorney Advisor Jos Vega received the award.

AnotherOIG team received an Award for Excellence in Evaluations for their ?Follow-UpEvaluation of Issues Identified in the 2010 Peace Corps/Morocco Assessment ofMedical Care?, a report on the organization and provision of medical care toPeace Corps Volunteers worldwide. CIGIE recognized the team for excellence dueto the positive effect the report will have on the Peace Corps? ability toprotect Volunteers? health, the collaboration between Peace Corps OIG and U.S.Department of Veterans Affairs OIG, and the creative manner in which theevaluation team designed and carried out fieldwork. Senior Evaluator Erin Balch,Evaluator Kaitlyn Large, former Senior Evaluator Susan Gasper, Senior EvaluatorGreg Yeich, Drs. Thomas Wong and George Wesley of the Department of VeteransAffairs Office of Inspector General, and Assistant Inspector General forEvaluations Jeremy Black received the award.

Inspector General Kathy A. Buller stated, ?PeaceCorps? program is its Volunteers and their health and safety is our priority. Thework of Peace Corps OIG that was honored today makes recommendations to improvethe way health care is provided to Volunteers.I?m proud of these teamsand their efforts to further the Peace Corps mission.?

The Inspector General Act of 1978, as amended,established OIGs within federal agencies to combat fraud, waste, abuse, and toimprove economy and efficiency. The inspector general community has more than14,000 audit, investigation, inspection, and other professionals across 72 IGs.

CIGIE is an independent entity within the executive branchrepresenting 72 OIGs in the federal government. CIGIE?s mission is to promoteintegrity, economy, and effectiveness in government agencies as well as toincrease the professionalism and effectiveness of personnel in the community ofinspectors general. For more information on the IG community, visit