The Peace Corps has announced that Bowdoin College ranked No. 13 among small schools on the agency’s 2016 Top Volunteer-Producing Colleges and Universities list. There are 10 Bowdoin alumni currently volunteering worldwide.
This is the third year that Bowdoin has ranked among the top small schools, moving up from the No. 14 spot in 2016.
“Many students are trying to figure out a way to be active in and contribute not only to their local communities, but on also on a global level,” said Meg Springer, herself a former Peace Corps volunteer who served in Thailand. As assistant director of Bowdoin Career Planning, Springer now helps Bowdoin students plan their own Peace Corps experiences.
“With many questions out there right now about our role as Americans in the world, the Peace Corps seems to be a great landing place to practice humanitarianism and develop skills in community engagement that are readily transferrable upon return to the U.S. Really, it’s a continuation of the values promoted here at Bowdoin on an international level.”
“Peace Corps service is an unparalleled leadership opportunity that enables college and university alumni to use the creative-thinking skills they developed in school to make an impact in communities around the world,” Acting Peace Corps Director Sheila Crowley said.
“Many college graduates view Peace Corps as a launching pad for their careers because volunteers return home with the cultural competency and entrepreneurial spirit sought after in most fields.”
Service in the Peace Corps is a hands-on leadership experience that offers volunteers the opportunity to travel to a community overseas and make a lasting difference in the lives of others.
In 2016, Maine ranked eighth nationwide for the highest number of Peace Corps Volunteers per capita, with 52 Maine residents serving overseas.
Daniel Lipkowitz ’14, currently serving as an environmental volunteer in Panama, says he believes Bowdoin played a significant role in preparing him for Peace Corps service.
“I have often considered Bowdoin’s guiding obligation of promoting the common good a concept that both inspired my initial interest to join the Peace Corps and steered my thought process throughout my time as a volunteer,” Lipkowitz said.
Since President John F. Kennedy established the Peace Corps in 1961, more than 225,000 Americans of all ages have served in 141 countries worldwide, including 271 Bowdoin alumni.