“Dartmouth taught me that learning doesn’t stop in the classroom,” says Yi Yang ’14, a Peace Corps volunteer based in Senegal. And the alumna is not the only Dartmouth graduate sharing the sentiment: Last week, the Peace Corps announced that Dartmouth has ranked No. 6 among small schools on the agency’s list of top volunteer-producing colleges and universities for 2019.
While it’s the first time Dartmouth has made the shortlist in over five years, the College has a vibrant history of Peace Corps service. Since the agency was founded by John. F. Kennedy in 1961, more than 640 Dartmouth alumni have served as volunteers in its two-year program. At present, 13 Dartmouth alumni are in the Peace Corps. Stationed in communities around the world, volunteers contribute to projects with themes ranging from agriculture to health to youth.
Yang, for example, is serving as a community economic development volunteer, helping small-scale Senegalese entrepreneurs with business management and cooperative development. Her interest in the Peace Corps was sparked during her first year at Dartmouth when she encountered volunteers in Rwanda during a project-term abroad. “I was struck by what Peace Corps service could mean,” she says. “It was on my mind ever since.” Through her subsequent involvement with Dartmouth Humanitarian Engineering, Yang applied her studies in economics to real projects in the developing world. “It opened my eyes to the power of grassroots engagement,” she adds.
“The colleges and universities that produce the most Peace Corps volunteers focus on cultivating global citizens in addition to promoting scholarship,” says Peace Corps Director Jody Olsen. “I am proud that so many graduates of these esteemed institutions leverage their educations to make the world a better place. They bring critical skills to communities around the world and gain hands-on, life-changing experience along the way.”
The Peace Corps ranks top volunteer-producing colleges and universities each year in categories based on student body size. Head to their site to browse this year’s rankings and see where Dartmouth alumni are currently serving.
Are you a current volunteer? Be sure to log your hours through The Call to Serve!