February 5, 2013 – Georgetown has moved from No. 10 to No. 8 in the Peace Corps’ list of 25 top volunteer-producing colleges in the medium school category.
A total of 31 undergraduate alumni currently serve as Peace Corps volunteers, and nearly 900 have served since the federal program’s inception in 1961.
“These volunteers are applying the skills and knowledge they acquired during their time at Georgetown University to help improve the lives of people across the globe,” says Carrie Hessler-Radelet, acting director of the Peace Corps. “They are achieving tangible results in development projects in agriculture, community economic development, education, the environment, health and youth development.”
Cheering With Excitement
Emily McGinnis (SFS’11) is one of the 31 volunteers. She spends long days working with youth in a small, remote Peruvian town.
“The elementary school kids literally start screaming and cheering with excitement whenever I appear,” says McGinnis, who studied international politics at Georgetown and earned a certificate in Latin American studies. “Some of them are picking up a bit of English and learning little tidbits about America … but I think it will definitely take more time to see the true long-term effect I’ll have on them.”
McGinnis has spent the last five months working in Cabanaconde, Peru, as a youth development volunteer. The town, located on the side of Colca Canyon and a full day’s travel from the capital of Lima, is home to about 3,000 people.
Enjoyable and Rewarding
As a youth development volunteer, she has taught English to elementary school as well as a vocational orientation class to secondary school seniors.
McGinnis says her Peace Corps experience will help her as she pursues a career in international development.
“My work has been very enjoyable and rewarding," she says. "The friendships I’ve made in my community and with other volunteers will be eternally valuable."
Now that summer vacation has arrived in Peru, McGinnis is teaching English, geography and a cultural exchange class and helping out with sports sessions and general administration.
She says her family and the Jesuit education she received at Georgetown played a significant role in her becoming a Peace Corps volunteer.
“Coming from a Navy family and having teachers for parents instilled in me at a young age the value of public service,” McGinnis says. “My Jesuit education at Georgetown only further inculcated this notion of being a ‘woman for others.’ ”
Maureen Stickel (SFS’09) also says Georgetown helped prepare her for her Peace Corps experience in Paraguay, where she served as a business volunteer from 2010 to 2012.
“My time at Georgetown helped expose me to people from all over the world with all variety of experience,” says Stickel, who studied international economics at Georgetown.