Friday, January 23, 2009

UWG Named to Peace Corps' Top Ten

The University of West Georgia has been named as one of the Peace Corps’ Top 10 colleges in Georgia that contribute to the number of Peace Corps volunteers. With 38 UWG alumni listed as volunteers in the Peace Corps, the university is ranked 10th out of 76 Georgia colleges and universities who have produced volunteers since the Peace Corps’ inception in 1961. Two UWG alumni are currently serving overseas.

David Leavitt, a former Peace Corps volunteer and a representative at the Atlanta Regional Office, and Kyle Jessop, Peace Corps regional recruiter, will visit the campus on Wednesday, Jan. 28, to give a presentation on “The Toughest Job You Will Ever Love.” They will also attend several classes as guest speakers.

Jessop served as a Peace Corps volunteer in two different assignments: the Kingdom of Lesotho and the Republic of Zambia from 2002 through 2006.

“I think Peace Corps has opened up doors for me that I am still waiting to approach,” said Jessop. “My heart is with the people in the developing world and I find it hard at times when I look at the vast differences in different societies. It simply amazes me. I hope to do my part in helping to bridge the gaps.”

The presentation will include the Peace Corps application process, a description of what it is like to live and work overseas, and the long-term career advantages of service. The event is scheduled at the Technology-enhanced Learning Center, Room 1203, from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. Students and community members are encouraged to attend.

Peace Corps volunteers must be U.S. citizens and be at least 18 years of age. Joining the Peace Corps usually requires a degree and a 27-month commitment. This event will mark the second visit to the UWG campus by Peace Corps representatives this academic year.

The Peace Corps organization is especially attracted to UWG because many of its undergraduates fill assignments in scarce skill areas where it is traditionally difficult to find qualified applicants. These skill areas include education, business, foreign languages and global studies.

As the Peace Corps approaches its 50th anniversary, its service legacy continues to promote peace and friendship around the world. Historically, more than 195,000 Americans have volunteered and have helped to promote a better understanding between Americans and the citizens of the 139 countries in which they have served.

Applications to serve in the Peace Corps have increased by 16 percent this past year, which is the largest boost in the last five years. Currently, 7,876 Peace Corps Volunteers are serving in 76 countries. To learn more about the Peace Corps, go to, or call 404-562-3472.

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