Global Activism: Stories from the Peace Corps

August 4, 2011

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(Courtesy of Wikipedia Commons)
Then-Senator John F. Kennedy greets some of the nation's first Peace Corps volunteers.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Peace Corps. In 1960, Senator John F. Kennedy challenged students at the University of Michigan to serve their country in the cause of peace by living and working in developing countries.

That speech laid the foundation for what became the Peace Corps. Since its founding, more than two hundred thousand Americans have volunteered to serve communities in need all over the world and to help promote a better understanding between Americans and other cultures.

Today we mark the anniversary of the Peace Corps with a few former volunteers who've been featured on our Global Activism series: Amy Maglio, founder of the Women’s Global Education Project; Patsy Mertz, founder of Ivory Coast Mothers and Children; and Barbara Janes, who belonged to the first group of volunteers in 1961.