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!!


Peace Corps Week Celebrates 57 Years of Making a Difference

WASHINGTON ? In celebration of the Peace Corps? 57thanniversary on March 1, the agency kicks off Peace Corps Week tocommemorate the contributions of volunteers and their communities worldwide.Throughout the week, the Peace Corps community will participate in events thatunderscore this year?s theme, ?Highlighting Home.?

?Peace Corps volunteers develop enduring connections withthe people and places where they serve,? said Acting Peace Corps DirectorSheila Crowley. ?Communities around the globe welcome volunteers into theirhearts and homes. This year, Peace Corps Week is about sharing theselife-changing experiences and honoring the communities volunteers call homeduring their service.?

More than 80 Peace Corps Week events are taking placeacross the country. Activities include discussion panels with returnedvolunteers, recruitment events, storytelling nights, video screenings and artshows. Returned volunteers participating in these events will share photos,music, culture and stories from their countries of service. For a full list ofsuggested activities, visit the PeaceCorps Week page. Search for a Peace Corps Weekevent in your region or state by visiting the Peace Corps Events page.

In the lead up to Peace Corps Week, the Peace Corpslaunched a video challenge asking current and returned volunteers to submit ashort video capturing the host families, faces and places that volunteers callhome during their service. Five winners will be announced from the 16 finaliststhroughout the week on the PeaceCorps? Facebook page. Some of the top videos willbe showcased at a free film screening at E Street Cinema in Washington, onMarch 1 from 6:30-8 p.m. Check out all of the videos here andregister for the screening here.

The Peace Corps will also participate in a special event onFebruary 28 hosted by the African Union honoring America?s connection to globaldiaspora communities. The eventwill feature Peace Corps, the Department of State, U.S. Agency forInternational Development and International diaspora Engagement Alliance(IdEA).

The Peace Corps has regional recruiters across the U.S. that work closely with prospective volunteers. Find a recruiter near you by visiting the Peace Corps websitehere, and browse service opportunities by country, work area and departure datehere.

Peace Corps to Re-establish Program in Sri Lanka
Sheila Crowley, Acting Director of the U.S. Peace Corps, and Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Tilak Marapana signed a new bilateral agreement to re-establish a Peace Corps program in Sri Lanka.

COLOMBO, February 26, 2018 ?Sheila Crowley, ActingDirector of the U.S. Peace Corps, and Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Tilak Marapanasigned a new bilateral agreement to re-establisha Peace Corps program in Sri Lanka. U.S.Ambassador to Sri Lanka and Maldives Atul Keshap and Prime Minister RanilWickremasinghe witnessed the signing at Temple Trees. The announcement coincides with the 70thanniversary of diplomatic relations between the United States and Sri Lanka andunderscores the long history of partnership and mutual support between the twocountries.

Peace Corps? efforts in Sri Lanka will focus on Englishlanguage education. Once in Sri Lanka,volunteers will undergo three months of comprehensive cultural, language andtechnical training before they are given their assignments to serve for twoyears. The first 25 Peace CorpsVolunteers are scheduled to arrive in Sri Lanka in late 2019.

?I am delighted that Peace Corps is returning to SriLanka. Our volunteers embody and promotethe ideals of equality, shared prosperity, and a common interest in a peaceful,stable world,? said U.S. Ambassador to Sri Lanka and Maldives AtulKeshap. When signing the Executive Order that created the Peace Corps,President John F. Kennedy said, ?Our Peace Corpsis not designed as an instrument of diplomacy or propaganda or ideologicalconflict. It is designed to permit ourpeople to exercise more fully their responsibilities in the great common causeof world development.?

From 1962 to 1998, more than 370 Peace Corps volunteersserved in Sri Lanka, working in education, health and youth development. The program was closed in 1998 due topolitical instability. Peace Corps?Crisis Corps, now Peace Corps Response, returned to Sri Lanka to support reliefefforts in the aftermath of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami. In 2016, the Government of Sri Lanka invitedPeace Corps to return to work and assist in furthering the country?sdevelopment goals.

?The return of Peace Corps to Sri Lanka is an opportunityto deepen the enduring friendship that has grown between our two countries overthe past 70 years,? said Acting Peace Corps Director Sheila Crowley. ?We aregrateful to the Government and people of Sri Lanka for their invitation to,once again, have Peace Corps volunteers serve side-by-side with Sri Lankans in theirbeautiful country.?

Peace Corps Announces 2018 Top Volunteer-Producing Schools

For the second straightyear, the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the University of Washington, andthe University of Minnesota hold the top three spots respectively on the PeaceCorps? Top Volunteer-Producing Colleges and Universities list. The Universityof North Carolina-Chapel Hill ascends to No. 4 this year, while the Universityof Florida holds steady at No. 5.

There are 85 Badgersserving in the Peace Corps, bringing the all-time count of volunteers from theUniversity of Wisconsin to 3,279. Wisconsin has appeared in the top 5 of thePeace Corps? rankings for the past three years.

Making big jumps on thisyear?s large college list, the University of Texas moved from No. 25 to No. 8and the University of Virginia moved from No. 15 to No. 6. The Texas Longhorns have61 currently serving Peace Corps volunteers, while 62 hail from UVA.

?Peace Corps service is a profound expressionof the idealism and civic engagement that colleges and universities across thecountry inspire in their alumni,? said Acting Peace Corps Director Sheila Crowley.?As Peace Corps volunteers, recent graduates foster local capacity andself-reliance at the grassroots level, making an impact in communities aroundthe world. They return to the United States with highly sought-after skills andan enterprising spirit?leveraging their education, global experience, andconfidence into their communities and careers back home.?

Among medium-sizedschools, institutions with between 5,000 and 15,000 undergraduates, GeorgeWashington University has reclaimed the top spot with 50 volunteers. GW isfollowed by American University, the College of William and Mary, theUniversity of Montana, and Tulane University in the medium-sized schoolrankings.

St. Mary?s College ofMaryland leads the rankings for small colleges with 17 current Peace Corpsvolunteers. Macalester College and St. Lawrence University are tied for secondwith 15 volunteers each. Also making a significant jump this year, SpelmanCollege climbed from No. 7 into a crowded tie for fourth (see rankings below).

Among graduate schools,Tulane University moved into the No. 1 spot with 27 volunteers. AmericanUniversity, the University of South Florida, and George Washington Universityhold the second, third, and fourth spots, respectively. Graduate schools at theUniversity of Michigan, Columbia University, and the University of Denver tiefor fifth.

Below find complete listsof the top schools in each category and the number of alumni serving as PeaceCorps volunteers.View the complete 2018 rankings of the top 25 schools ineach categoryand an interactive map that shows where alumni from eachcollege and university are servinghere:

Large Colleges & Universities ? Total Volunteers:

More than 15,000 Undergraduates

1. University of Wisconsin-Madison ? 85

2. University of Washington ? 74

3. University of Minnesota ? 72

4. University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill ? 70

5. University of Florida ? 68

Medium Colleges & Universities ? Total Volunteers:

Between 5,000 and 15,000 undergraduates

1. George Washington University ? 50

2. American University ? 49

3. College of William and Mary ? 35

4. University of Montana ? 34

5. Tulane University ? 33

Small Colleges & Universities ? Total Volunteers:

Fewer than 5,000 undergraduates

1. St. Mary?s College of Maryland ? 17

2. Macalester College ? 15

2. St. Lawrence University ? 15

4. University of Redlands ? 14

4. University of Mary Washington ? 14

4. Evergreen State College ? 14

4. Hobart and William Smith Colleges ? 14

4. Whitworth University ? 14

4. Spelman College ? 14

Graduate Schools ? Total Volunteers:

1. Tulane University ? 27

2. American University ? 19

3. University of South Florida ? 16

4. George Washington University ? 15

5. University of Michigan-Ann Arbor ? 14

5. Columbia University ? 14

5. University of Denver ? 14

Historical, Since 1961 ? Total Volunteers:

1. University of California, Berkeley 3,671

2. University of Wisconsin?Madison 3,279

3. University of Washington 3,027

4. University of Michigan 2,720

5. University of Colorado Boulder 2,504

*Rankingsare calculated based on fiscal year 2017 data as of September 30, 2017, asself-reported by Peace Corps volunteers.

Peace Corps referral results in successful criminal prosecution

The Peace Corps announcedthat its investigation and referral of a criminal case to the Department ofJustice led to the successful prosecution of a former official charged withviolating conflict of interest law.

Former Peace Corps employee Warren ?Buck? Buckinghamadmitted to violating a criminal conflict of interest law and agreed to pay a$10,000 penalty as part of a deferred prosecution agreement with the U.S.Attorney?s Office for the District of Columbia.

Buckingham, while working as a representative of a non-profitorganization, admitted to influencing decisions on behalf of the organization inmatters in which he was personally and substantially involved during his employmentwith the Peace Corps, a U.S. government agency.

The Peace Corps Office of Inspector General investigated thecase in coordination with the Department of Justice, U.S. Attorney?s Office forthe District of Columbia.

?This is an example of collaboration at every level, and Ideeply appreciate the hard work and vigilance of the Office of InspectorGeneral,? said Acting Peace Corps Director Sheila Crowley.

Buckingham was the director of the Peace Corps Office ofGlobal Health and HIV from 2010 to 2012. During his employment with the PeaceCorps, Buckingham was involved in evaluating, approving, and monitoring a non-competitivelyawarded cooperative agreement between the Peace Corps and the non-profitorganization. He was later employed by the organization and acted as theprincipal negotiator to obtain a follow-on agreement to the cooperativeagreement between the Peace Corps and the organization.

Inspector General Kathy A. Buller said of the matter, ?Thisinvestigation began because a member of the Peace Corps contracting staff sawsomething wrong and reported it to the Office of General Counsel. The Office ofGeneral Counsel then referred it to the Office of Inspector General. Their actionled to our office investigating Buckingham?s behavior and allowed us to seek accountability.?

Acting Peace Corps Director Crowley commendedthe work of Inspector General Agents Joe Bodensteiner and Jennifer Pallotta,other Peace Corps staff, and Assistant U.S. Attorney John Marston.

Astronaut and returned Peace Corps volunteer Joe Acaba speaks with students from space

WASHINGTON,D.C., February 8, 2018 ? NASA Astronaut and returned Peace Corps volunteer JoeAcaba spoke live February 7 from the International Space Station with studentsat H.D. Cooke Elementary School, Acting Peace Corps Director Sheila Crowley,and a global audience virtually.

Acaba,who shared speaking duties aboard the space station with fellow NASA AstronautMark Vande Hei, is a former teacher who served with the Peace Corps as anenvironmental education volunteer in the Dominican Republic from 1994-96.

?We?relike technicians working in a laboratory, doing science,? he said. ?Andeverything you have to do at your house to keep it up and running, we have todo on the space station? Why are we important? You need people to explore andtry new things, and we?re lucky enough to have the opportunity to go up inspace.?

ThroughNASA?s live education downlink, students in the United States and around theworld had the opportunity to learn from Acaba about living and working inspace, as well as the importance of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math(STEM) education. Acaba is part of a mission called Expedition 53 that launchedto the International Space Station in September 2017, focusing onastrophysics, technology demonstrations, cellular biology and biotechnology.

Priorto the live downlink, Peace Corps volunteer classrooms from around the worldsubmitted questions for the astronauts, which were shared with students atWashington?s H.D. Cooke Elementary School. The Washington students posed thesequestions to Acaba on behalf of their international counterparts, along withquestions of their own.

H.D.Cooke Elementary School participates in World Wise Schools, a program thatpromotes global learning by connecting students and educators in the UnitedStates with Peace Corps volunteers abroad. Students from the DominicanRepublic, Nepal, Paraguay, Kosovo, Madagascar, Guinea, Morocco, Ukraine, andKyrgyzstan submitted questions with the support of their Peace Corps volunteerteachers.

?Whatis the toughest job you?ll ever love?being a Peace Corps volunteer or being anastronaut?? asked Acting Director Crowley. Acaba?s response: ?Peace Corps!?

Click the following link forvideo from the February 7 event:

Peace Corps responds to CBS News report on sexual assault

Thereport CBS aired on January 29, 2018, ?Peace Corps failing to protect volunteersfrom sexual assault, watchdog says,? grossly mischaracterizes the tremendous progress the Peace Corps has madeto both help prevent and address sexual assaults when they occur.

The report is factually inaccurate, uses outdated interviews,and confuses the U.S. Office of Special Counsel (OSC) with the Peace Corps?Office of the Inspector General (OIG).

In addition, the report fails to acknowledge thehealth, safety and security and numerous other reforms the Peace Corps has madeto support volunteers who are sexually assaulted. It also fails to acknowledge theenormous support the agency provides victims of sexual assault when servinginternationally and when they return to the United States.

Furthermore, the report includes an incident that wasnot reported as sexual assault, which is misleading.

The Peace Corps is extremely disappointed with thereporting and is demanding CBS fully review the report and immediately issue afull correction.

Regarding Ms. Kellie Greene, due to privacyconsiderations, the Peace Corps is constrained from commenting on her personnelmatter without her consent.

I ask that you consider the following points to helpcorrect the record and give your viewers a clearer picture of the facts:

  • The vast majority of sexual assaults cited in the survey used in your reporting are non-aggravated sexual assaults (including attempts). Of all female respondents, 27% experienced a non-aggravated sexual assault, 7% aggravated sexual assault, and 4% rape at some point during their two years of service.
  • The OSC letter does not mention anything about a culture of ?victim-blaming.? In response to the complaint filed with OSC, the Peace Corps OIG investigated and submitted a report. The OIG found that the Peace Corps did not have systemic issues, and that the Peace Corps did not violate any laws, when it comes to our treatment of volunteers who had been sexually assaulted. In fact, a substantial majority of sexual assault victims who responded to a 2016 survey about the care they received expressed satisfaction with the agency?s response.
  • While it?s unclear which OIG report is cited in yesterday?s story, it should be noted the OIG evaluation report in November 2016 finds marked improvement in documenting that required services were offered, requested, and provided to Volunteers who had reported being sexually assaulted compared to the OIG?s findings from 2013.
  • For a more balanced story, it would be helpful to speak with a volunteer who expressed satisfaction with the care they received. Here?s an example:
  • Your statement that OSC is calling for better training for in-country Peace Corps employees is inaccurate. The OSC calls for training of host families and co-workers. These individuals are not in-country Peace Corps employees. They are host country nationals who have no employment relationship with Peace Corps. The Peace Corps provides comprehensive sexual assault risk-reduction and response training to both Volunteers and staff. Each post has two sexual assault response liaisons trained to directly assist Volunteers who are victims of sexual assault throughout the in-country response process. The agency agrees that it would be beneficial to heighten awareness of the Peace Corps? approach to sexual assault risk reduction and response for people who interact closely with volunteers.
  • At present, all volunteer counterparts receive training, though we are always looking for areas in need of improvement.

Volunteers and trainees are contacted by the Peace Corps Counseling and Outreach Unit or an in-country provider within 72 hours of a reported sexual assault to arrange care. Peace Corps provides trauma-informed care via evidence-based psychotherapy, which is available for trainees and volunteers who have experienced a sexual assault. A broad range of options are available from counseling in a Peace Corps country to intensive treatment in the US.

The Peace Corps hasprovided a response to OSC and asked that office to share this document withthe public.

We welcome theopportunity to provide you with additional information about the Sexual AssaultRisk Reduction and Response Program we have developed over the last five years,in which we take great pride.

Peace Corps Mourns the Loss of Volunteer Bernice Heiderman
Bernice Heiderman
Washington, D.C., January 9, 2018 ? Acting Peace Corps Director Sheila Crowley is saddened to confirm the death of Peace Corps volunteer Bernice Heiderman of Inverness, IL. Bernice, 24, passed away after an illness while serving in Comoros on January 9, 2018.

??Bea?, as everyone called her, was a remarkable volunteer, who was admired by the students she taught and the members of the community where she lived,? said Acting Director Crowley. ?Bea shared her love of museums with the students who joined the Junior Explorer?s Club she started. They and Peace Corps will miss her dearly. Our thoughts and prayers go out to her family as we mourn this tremendous loss.?

Bernice served as an Education volunteer in Comoros, an island nation along the east coast of Africa. She taught English at the public junior high school in the community of Salimani, on the island of Grande Comore. She also started a Junior Explorer?s Club and worked to secure funds to conduct field trips to the National Museum of Comoros, a botanical garden and other historical sites on the island. Through the club, Bernice introduced its members to sites they had never before visited in their own country. In addition, Bernice worked closely with the curator of the National Museum to help create written descriptions for artifacts on display there.

At the certificate ceremony for the Junior Explorers, Bernice said, ?I am so proud of my kids. They have enjoyed the explorations and I am happy to see them grow and become great leaders.?

One month prior to beginning her Peace Corps service, Bernice received a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Illinois at Chicago. While living in Chicago, Bernice was a Discovery Squad volunteer at the Field Museum, where she was a photography assistant and shared her knowledge and interest in the museum?s historical artifacts with visitors.

She is survived by her parents, Julie C. and William Heiderman, her sister, Grace Heiderman, and brother, Billy Heiderman.

President Donald J. Trump nominates Jody Olsen to be Director of the Peace Corps

WASHINGTON? President Donald J. Trump announced his intent to nominate Dr. Josephine(Jody) K. Olsen as Director of the Peace Corps. Currently, Dr. Olsen is visitingprofessor at the University of Maryland-Baltimore School of Social Work and directorof the school?s Center for Global Education Initiatives.

Ifconfirmed, Dr. Olsen will return to the Peace Corps, where she served as ActingDirector in 2009, Deputy Director from 2002-2009, Chief of Staff from1989-1992, Regional Director, North Africa Near East, Asia, Pacific from 1981-1984,and Country Director in Togo from 1979-1981. Dr. Olsen also served as a PeaceCorps volunteer in Tunisia from 1966-1968.

Dr.Olsen served as senior vice president of the Academy for EducationalDevelopment from 1997-2002 and executive director of the Council forInternational Exchange of Scholars from 1997-2002.

Dr.Olsen received a bachelor?s degree from the University of Utah and a master?sdegree in social work and a doctorate from the University of Maryland. A nativeof Utah, Dr. Olsen currently lives in Maryland.

Peace Corps Announces Top Volunteer-Producing States and Metropolitan Areas in 2017
Peace Corps Announces Top Volunteer-Producing States and Metropolitan Areas in 2017

WASHINGTON? The Peace Corps today released its 2017 rankings of the top volunteer-producingstates and metropolitan areas across the country. New York-Northern NewJersey-Long Island is again the largest metropolitan-area producer ofvolunteers, after losing that designation to current No. 2Washington-Arlington-Alexandria in 2016.

Forthe second straight year, Missoula, Montana, holds the No. 1 spot for top metroareas per capita, followed by No. 2 Charlottesville, Virginia, which last madethe annual rankings in 2011. Ithaca, New York (No. 3), Fort Collins, Colorado(No. 5), and Ann Arbor, Michigan (No. 9), also returned to the per capitametros list in 2017.

TheDistrict of Columbia became the No. 1 state per capita while California retainedits No. 1 position on the total volunteer-producing states list. WashingtonState, Virginia, and Maryland appear in all four ranking categories.

?PeaceCorps volunteers come from all corners of our nation to create grassroots levelchange in our world,? said Peace Corps Chief Executive Officer Sheila Crowley.?Volunteers share their hometown values and perspectives with the hostcommunities they serve, an intercultural exchange that leaves a legacy of peaceand friendship. We are deeply grateful to the extraordinary communities in theU.S. which produce citizens with such a strong sense of purpose.?

ThePeace Corps is unique among service organizations because our volunteers liveand work at the community level. Service in the Peace Corps is a life-defining,hands-on leadership experience that offers volunteers the opportunity to travelto the farthest corners of the world and make a lasting difference in the livesof others. Applicants can apply to specific programs by visiting the Peace Corps website and connecting with arecruiter.

Belowfind the nation?s top 10 volunteer-producing states and metropolitan areas for2017. View the list of volunteer numbers from all 50 states here.

2017 TopStates ? Per Capita (# of volunteers per 100,000 residents)

1. Districtof Columbia ? 8.8

2. Vermont?6.7

3.Montana ? 4.9

4. Oregon? 4.3

4. RhodeIsland ? 4.3

6. Virginia? 4.2

7.Maryland ? 4.1

7. Washington? 4.1

9. Maine? 4.0

10. Colorado? 3.9

10. Minnesota? 3.9

2017 TopStates ? Total Volunteers

1.California ? 873

2. NewYork ? 485

3. Florida? 355

4. Virginia? 352

5. Texas? 327

6.Illinois ? 325

7. Washington? 300

8. Pennsylvania? 296

9. Michigan? 266

10. Maryland? 250

2017 TopMetropolitan Areas ? Per Capita (# of volunteers per 100,000 residents)

1.Missoula, MT ? 11.9

2. Charlottesville,VA ? 9.9

3. Ithaca,NY ? 9.8

3. Boulder,CO ? 9.8

5. FortCollins-Loveland, CO ? 9.7

6. Burlington-SouthBurlington, VT ? 9.5

7. Olympia,WA ? 7.9

8.Madison, WI ? 7.4

9. AnnArbor, MI ? 7.3

10. Washington-Arlington-Alexandria,DC-VA-MD-WV ? 7.2

2017 TopMetropolitan Areas ? Total Volunteers

1.New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island, NY-NJ-PA ? 418

2.Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV ? 403

3.Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana, CA ? 273

4.Chicago-Joliet-Naperville, IL-IN-WI ? 258

5.Boston-Cambridge-Quincy, MA-NH? 182

6.Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA ? 175

7.Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI ? 174

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

9.Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Marietta, GA ? 147

10.San Francisco-Oakland-Fremont, CA ? 126

*PeaceCorps data current as of September 30, 2017. 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.

Peace Corps to Phase Out of the Federated States of Micronesia and the Republic of Palau

WASHINGTON- Peace Corps announced it is officially phasing out of the Federated States ofMicronesia (FSM) and Republic of Palau aftermany years of partnership.The phase out is due to operational and infrastructure challenges in areasranging from vast geographic distances, medical care and transportation, andrecurring staff vacancies.

PeaceCorps will phase out its volunteer operations in FSM, where there are currently25 volunteers serving in the education sector, by June 30, 2018. This timelinewill allow the volunteers to complete their primary assignments through the endof the school year and transfer knowledge to their communities and counterparts.Peace Corps remains fully committed to supporting the volunteers during thistime as they complete their service.

Thelast class of volunteers departed Palau in July 2017, having completed theirassignments.

PeaceCorps is grateful to the people and governments of the Federated States ofMicronesia and the Republic of Palau for their partnership and friendship.Since 1966, more than 4,300 volunteers have served in the region of Micronesia,working to address the need for trained men and women in agriculture,education, health, youth development,andcommunity economicdevelopment.

Longafter the last volunteer?s departure, the most essential component of thesenations? cooperation withPeace Corps will remain in the fellowshipbetweenvolunteers and their host families, colleagues, and friends.Returned volunteers' ongoing contributions as informal citizen ambassadors forFSM and Palau will serve as a lasting legacy of mutual collaboration. Manyformer volunteers have remained in these countries, continuing to contribute ina personal capacity to the development of the region.

InthePacific,Peace Corpswill continue to operateprogramsin Fiji, Samoa, Tonga, and Vanuatu.