Montana ranks among Peace Corps’ top volunteer-producing states in 2016

Peace Corps announced Montana ranks No. 3 among states with the highest number of Peace Corps volunteers per capita, with five volunteers per 100,000 residents. There are 51 volunteers from Montana currently serving worldwide and 1,442 residents of Montana have served in the Peace Corps since the agency’s founding in 1961.

“During my time leading the Peace Corps, I have seen the tremendous impact that volunteers have when they share their unique hometown perspectives with the communities they serve,” Director Carrie Hessler-Radelet said. “Volunteers represent our nation’s rich diversity by coming from all corners of the U.S. They are able to share our nation’s rich cultural heritage with communities around the world, leaving a legacy of peace and friendship that is timeless.”

In the past four years, Montana has consistently risen in rank among the top ten states, and jumped one spot this year to No. 3. Montana volunteers are among the more than 225,000 Americans who have served around the world as agriculture, community economic development, education, environment, health and youth in development volunteers since 1961.

Missoula ranks No. 1 among top metropolitan areas per capita with 14 volunteers per 100,000 residents. In the last decade, the metro area has consistently ranked among the top ten metro areas per capita.

Emily Rohrlach is a Montana native who served in Mongolia from 2014 to 2016. She believes the biggest influence she made at her Peace Corps site was being a valuable resource for host country nationals.

“A lot of my work was helping my teachers and students find opportunities to improve their English, work on their skills, and to encourage them to try new things,” Rohrlach said. “Along with my usual work teaching at one of the local secondary schools, I helped write resumes, applications, and practice for the SAT. My job was to bridge the gap between a desire to succeed and a lack of resources and I believe I met that goal.”

This year’s rankings follow the launch of a refreshed Peace Corps brand platform that embraces a digitally focused communications approach to make the agency more accessible to all audiences across the United States through the platforms they already use. Sweeping reforms in the application and recruitment system ensure that Peace Corps continues to build a volunteer corps of Americans from all walks of life. Applicants will now find a simplified, more personal application process, and can learn more by visiting the Peace Corps website and connecting with a recruiter.

View the list of volunteer numbers from all 50 states at http://files.peacecorps.gov/documents/16_PRS_TopStates.pdf.

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