COURTESY OF FORDHAM NEWS
In a 2019 Peace Corps report, Fordham University ranked 24th in the Medium-Sized Colleges and Universities category for top-volunteer producing schools.
The Peace Corps is a non-governmental organization that sends Americans around the world to work with communities to promote world peace. There are currently 17 Fordham alumni serving around the world.
Aidan Donaghy, president of the Humanitarian Student Union and Fordham College at Lincoln Center ’21, was proud to learn the news. Fordham, which has historically been a top-producing university for Peace Corps volunteers, did not make the list in 2018.
“I think it’s very exciting that there are so many people who are engaged with humanitarian principles and actions,” Donaghy said. “It really says something about the values that Fordham students have.”
In an email, Jody Olsen, director of the Peace Corps, said she believes that universities that produce volunteers promote scholarship and a global awareness within their community.
Carolyn Faller, Fordham College at Rose Hill ’19, will be volunteering with Peace Corps as a HIV/AIDS Health Mitigation officer in Swaziland in September. Part of the reason Faller decided to volunteer was because she felt that the program aligned closely with both her values and Fordham’s.
“I think Fordham’s continuous emphasis on serving and working with local communities towards a greater goal is embedded into the school’s culture,” Faller said. “When you go somewhere for four years with that underlying culture, it makes sense that at the end of four years you are more inclined to take the risk and work with a culture very different than your own.”
Likewise, Donaghy said, “There are so many resources and opportunities to get involved in on campus, and I think that’s why so many people want to continue that kind of work after they graduate.”
Olsen said she was proud of the graduates who choose to dedicate their education toward making the world a better place by working with the Peace Corps.
The report also includes an interactive map where users can see where alumni from different colleges and universities are serving. Currently, Fordham alumni are volunteering in Guatemala, Peru, Morocco, Ethiopia and Indonesia, among others.
Dan Ingala, a public affairs specialist at the Peace Corps, explained that since the Peace Corps was founded in 1961, more than 470 Fordham alumni have served abroad.
Ingala said that volunteers work in a variety of different fields, including education, health, agriculture, economic growth and youth development.
“Through their Peace Corps experiences,” he said, “volunteers gain a unique cultural understand and a lifelong commitment to services that positions them to succeed in today’s global economy.”