Jennifer Jiggetts stands by a water pump that’s helping people in the town of Lesotho, South Africa.
WASHINGTON, April 21, 2015 – The Peace Corps today released the 2015 rankings of the nation’s top volunteer-producing Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). This year, Norfolk State University (NSU) ranked No. 3 with 4 alumni currently serving with the Peace Corps. This is the second year in a row that NSU has placed among the top three HBCUs with the greatest number of volunteers. Since the Peace Corps was established in 1961, 27 Spartans have traveled abroad to serve as volunteers.
“Peace Corps service is an opportunity unlike any other – a chance to make a difference in some of the world’s most vulnerable, hard-to-reach communities and a launching pad for a 21st-century career,” said Peace Corps Director Carrie Hessler-Radelet. “Volunteers with diverse backgrounds bring unique cross-cultural experiences to the communities they serve and help promote a greater understanding of who we are as Americans.”
College graduates who volunteer with the Peace Corps make a lasting difference in the lives of others while receiving intensive intercultural, leadership, language and technical training that gives them a competitive edge in today’s job market. They develop vital life skills, such as perseverance and flexibility, and get hands-on program management experience that employers are looking for now more than ever. Student loan deferment, and in some cases partial cancellation, is also available to Peace Corps volunteers through several federal programs.
Jennifer Jiggetts graduated from NSU in 2007 with a degree in journalism and served as an English education volunteer in Lesotho from 2012 to 2014. She helped teachers and students at her local school fund the installation of a much-needed water pump by making and selling jewelry and scarves. She credits her time at NSU with inspiring her to join the Peace Corps.
“At NSU, I was able to dream about what might be possible for my life. And it’s the place where I began my action plan,” said Jiggetts, 30. “I’d recommend Peace Corps service to Norfolk seniors because it is a stellar way for them to be of service to others. I’ve gained clarity about what I want for my life and I’ve made a positive impact on other people’s lives. I work with people who respect my vision and have nurtured my talent. I’ll always be grateful for this experience.”
Over the last year since the Peace Corps’ announcement of historic recruitment reforms, the agency has expanded its reach to attract the best and brightest the U.S. has to offer and field a volunteer force that reflects the rich diversity of the American people. In addition to hiring dedicated diversity recruiters and hosting diversity focused recruitment events, the Peace Corps is partnering with diverse institutions like NSU so Americans of all backgrounds know about service opportunities with the Peace Corps.
The Peace Corps has eight regional recruitment offices across the country that work closely with prospective volunteers, as well as an Office of Diversity and National Outreach that aims to recruit a diverse pool of volunteers and build an inclusive culture. The Mid-Atlantic regional recruitment office serves Norfolk State University, and applicants can learn more by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org or 202.692.1040.
*Rankings are calculated based on fiscal year 2014 data as of September 30, 2014, as self-reported by Peace Corps volunteers.
About the Peace Corps: The Peace Corps sends the best and brightest Americans abroad on behalf of the United States to tackle the most pressing needs of people around the world. Volunteers work at the grassroots level to develop sustainable solutions that address challenges in education, health, economic development, agriculture, environment and youth development. Through their service, volunteers gain a unique cultural understanding and a life-long commitment to service that positions them to succeed in today’s global economy. Since President John F. Kennedy established the Peace Corps in 1961, nearly 220,000 Americans of all ages have served in 140 countries worldwide. For more information, visit www.peacecorps.gov and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.