Oberlin College & Conservatory ranks No. 14 among small schools on the Peace Corps’ annual list of top volunteer-producing colleges and universities across the country. Oberlin was ranked No. 21 among small schools (those with fewer than 5,000 undergraduates) in 2014. This is the 15th consecutive year Oberlin has made the list.
Service in the Peace Corps is a life-defining, hands-on leadership experience that offers volunteers the opportunity to travel to the farthest corners of the world and work on sustainable development projects in agriculture, community economic development, education, environment, health, and youth development.
“The Peace Corps provides an indispensable opportunity for young people out of college to put their unique skills to work, making a difference for communities around the world,” Peace Corps Director Carrie Hessler-Radelet says. “Volunteers make lasting change by living and working at the grassroots level in their communities of service and using their talents to tackle some of the most critical challenges in international development.”
Volunteers return home as global citizens with cross-cultural, leadership, language, teaching, and community development skills that position them well for advanced education and professional opportunities in a 21st-century job market.
Ten Oberlin alumni are currently serving overseas as Peace Corps volunteers. Oberlin alumna and Peace Corps volunteer Laura Jessee ’14 has served as an agriculture volunteer in Ghana since September 2014. Her projects include cashew farming, beekeeping, small animal rearing, and business literacy.
An athlete at Oberlin, Jessee graduated with a bachelor’s degree in biology and geology. “My time at Oberlin College fostered my desire to challenge myself in many different ways,” Jessee said. “My professors encouraged dialogue and creative solutions, both of which have both benefited me greatly in my service. My volleyball coaches taught me to be a leader and to never stop trying as hard as I can to reach my goals.”
Since the agency was created in 1961, 546 Oberlin graduates have served as Peace Corps volunteers.
Two other Ohio schools were included in this year’s rankings. Case Western Reserve University tied with Oberlin at No. 14 on the small schools list with 10 volunteers. The Ohio State University is No. 4 among large universities with 64 alumni in the field. The entire top 25 rankings for each school size category are available online.
With 237 state residents currently serving in the Peace Corps, Ohio is among the top producing states for volunteers. Overall, 7,120 Ohio residents have served since the agency was created in 1961.
Annabel Khouri, a Cleveland-based Peace Corps recruiter and returned volunteer who served in Kenya, will be holding a Peace Corps information session on Wednesday, March 4, from noon to 4 p.m. in the Career Center Conference Room in the Stevenson-Longman Commons. See the Events Calendar for more information.