Cornell College among Peace Corps’ 2019 top volunteer-producing schools

Peace Corps announced that Cornell College ranked No. 15 among small schools on the agency’s list of top volunteer-producing colleges and universities in 2019. There are 10 Cornellians currently volunteering in countries around the world.

This is the second year Cornell College has appeared in the annual rankings, rising seven spots from No. 22 in 2018

Since the Peace Corps’ founding in 1961, more than 150 alumni from Cornell College have served abroad as volunteers. Cornell is one of only two schools in Iowa that appear on the 2019 rankings and alumni are serving all over the world.

Guerra sitting in a canoe with a second woman.
Guerra (right) regularly crosses rivers in a canoe.

Jeanette Guerra ’17, for example, left for Costa Rica in July 2017 and will wrap up her service in October 2019. The California native graduated with a biology major and an anthropology minor.

“Cornell College taught me the skills I needed to integrate successfully in my site,” said Guerra, who serves as a Youth in Development volunteer in Costa Rica. “From taking rigorous classes, I learned how to work under pressure, handle stress, and communicate effectively. From taking anthropology courses, I learned how to observe, write surveys, perform interviews, integrate into a community, and write a community assessment. Cornell College also taught me to become more independent and learn how to be away from home.”

Once she finishes her service with the Peace Corps, Guerra says she would like to continue helping youth by working for a nonprofit. After working for a year, she plans to apply to a master’s program.

The Peace Corps ranks its top volunteer-producing colleges and universities annually according to the size of the student body. The rankings are calculated based on fiscal year 2018 data as of Sept. 30, 2018, as self-reported by Peace Corps volunteers.

About the Peace Corps:

The Peace Corps sends Americans with a passion for service abroad on behalf of the United States to work with communities and create lasting change. Volunteers develop sustainable solutions to address challenges in education, health, community economic development, agriculture, the environment, and youth development. Through their Peace Corps experience, volunteers gain a unique cultural understanding and a life-long commitment to service that positions them to succeed in today’s global economy. Since President John F. Kennedy established the Peace Corps in 1961, more than 235,000 Americans of all ages have served in 141 countries worldwide.