2011 marks the 50th Anniversary of the Peace Corps’ founding (thanks, JFK!). Worldwide celebrations are already beginning. The PC-Ukraine Country Director included these factoids in his most recent monthly letter to Ukraine PCVs (facts come from http://www.fastcompany.com/magazine/150/peace-be-with-you.html).
· The FIRST group of volunteers, 51 strong, arrived in Ghana on August 30, 1961.
· Since 1961, more than 200,000 Americans have served in the Peace Corps.
· 7,671 volunteers were serving in the summer of 2010 in the Corps. In 1966, there were more than 15,000 in the field.
· The Peace Corps’ operating budget this fiscal year is $400 MILLION, about 1% of the federal government’s foreign-operations budget.
· Peace Corps volunteers here been trained in more than 250 local languages.
· 60% of ACTIVE Corps members are women.
· Today, the Corps works in 77 Countries Over its history, the organization has served in 139 nations.
· Netflix CEO Reed Hastings did a Peace Corps stint teaching math in Swaziland.
· More than 60 universities including Cornell, Johns Hopkins, and Virginia, participate in the master’s international program, which combines a tour in the Peace Corps with a master’s-degree curriculum.
· SIX current members of congress-Senator Christopher Dodd as well as FIVE Representatives-are returned volunteers.
· 28% of applicants to the Peace Corps are subsequently invited to serve. 7% of Peace Corps volunteers serve with their spouse.
· The average age of a Peace Corps volunteer is 28. 14% are over the age of 30 while 7% are over 50.
· The oldest volunteer in Peace Corps history was Arthur Goodfriend of Honolulu, who was 87 when he completed his second tour in Hungary in 1994.
· The Oldest current volunteer is 86 and working in Morocco.