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Northwestern among top schools for producing Peace Corps volunteers

Students and alumni develop sustainable solutions to problems abroad

A group photo shows many young people, both boys and girls, wearing matching T-shirts and posing in front of a soccer goal.
Elizabeth Waldron founded and directed a national leadership camp for young men while serving as a Peace Corps volunteer in Paraguay.

EVANSTON - Northwestern University has been named to the Peace Corps’ 2017 list of Top Volunteer-Producing Colleges and Universities.

The University currently has 15 Wildcats volunteering with the Peace Corps around the world.

Since the Peace Corps was founded in 1961, 953 Northwestern alumni have volunteered abroad with the agency, developing sustainable solutions to address challenges in education, health, economic development, agriculture, environment and youth development.

The University promotes stewardship and appreciation for different cultures, said Elizabeth Waldron, who is pursuing her doctorate in clinical psychology at Northwestern and who served in the Peace Corps from 2012-14 in Paraguay.

“You can see this though the number of international groups and events on campus and the University leadership’s commitment to inclusivity,” she said.

As a volunteer, Waldron founded and directed a leadership camp for young men. Camp leaders used sports to maximize youth participation and to teach and reinforce life skills such as responsibility, self-esteem, domestic violence prevention, gender and diversity appreciation and men’s sexual health.

“Through my projects and day-to-day interactions, I most enjoyed seeing the youth grow into understanding, confident and self-compassionate individuals and I realized I was doing the same,” Waldron said.

Northwestern students interested in serving in the Peace Corps can complete the application process online in about one hour. Applicants can learn more about service opportunities by assignment area, country and departure date by visiting the Peace Corps website and connecting with a recruiter.

The Peace Corps ranks its top volunteer-producing colleges and universities annually according to the size of the student body. Northwestern earned the 21st spot on this year’s list of medium-size schools. Explore the interactive map below that shows where alumni from Northwestern University are serving, or view the map on the Peace Corp website.

Topics: Global, Students

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