In the last year, Texas moved from fourth to third on the list of states with the highest number of Peace Corps volunteers. Four hundred and twenty-four currently serving Peace Corps volunteers call Texas home. “Texans have a history of pride and service and have been extremely supportive of the mission of Peace Corps,” said Mike McKay, Southwest Regional Manager. “We enjoy strong interest from our major metropolitan areas and universities.” Since 1961, Texas has produced 6,812 Peace Corps volunteers who have helped promote a better understanding between Americans and the people of the 139 countries in which they have served. Two of Texas’ metropolitan areas ranked in the Peace Corps list of Top Metropolitan Areas, comprising more than half of the state total. Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington has 124 currently-serving volunteers and Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown has 113 currently-serving volunteers.Peace Corps’ nine regional recruiting offices across the United States work to recruit and provide information and guidance to prospective Peace Corps volunteers. The Southwest Regional Recruiting Office serves Texas and nine other states. Applicants are encouraged to plan ahead and apply for Peace Corps service one year in advance of their target departure date. Americans with backgrounds in agriculture, environment, teaching English as a second language, and other technical or language skills related to Peace Corps assignment areas are encouraged to apply. “These applicants are the most competitive for our jobs in 2012 and 2013,” McKay added.
President John F. Kennedy established the Peace Corps on March 1, 1961, by executive order. Throughout 2011, Peace Corps is commemorating 50 years of promoting peace and friendship around the world. Today, 9,095 volunteers are working with local communities in 75 host countries. Visit peacecorps.gov for more information.