The Peace Corps


The Peace Corps Essay, Research Paper

The Peace Corps

October 14, 1960 2:00 am at Michigan University ran into a serious realty

check. Presidential Candidate John F. Kennedy addressed the students

attending there with an impromptu speech challenging them to give two years of

their lives to help people in countries of the developing world. Inspired by the

speech, students form “Americans Committed to World Responsibility” and

organize a petition drive asking for the establishment of such a program; within

weeks, more than 1,000 Michigan students had signed it.

The Peace Corps was officially established on March 1, 1961. It all

started over one speech that changed the lives of many Americans (noted in

previous paragraph). The Peace corps was established because America

wanted to make a difference in other peoples lives that less fortunate than

themselves. Volunteers in the Peace corps visited places like: Afghanistan,

Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Cape Verde, Chile, China, El Salvador, Mongolia,

Morocco, Niger, etc. In these places they wanted to help the people in these

countries and areas by meeting their needs and to spread awareness of

Americans on the part of the peoples served; and to give a better understanding

of other peoples on the part of Americans.

These Americans visited over one hundred and thirty four countries. With

sixty one percent of the volunteers being female and thirty nine percent being

male. Ninety two percent of them were single and eight percent of them were

married. There was on average about14 percent minorities of Peace Corps

volunteers. The average person to volunteer was twenty nine years old; the

youngest were about twenty five years old. Volunteers over age fifty was seven

about percent (oldest volunteer is seventy nine). Education ranked from about

levels of eighty two percent have undergraduate degrees while thirteen percent

have graduate studies and degrees.

Here are a few quotes of taken from president speeches and a Volunteer

over the last couple of decades:

The 1970s

“The spirit of the Peace Corps springs from the

deepest wells in our culture, from the reasoned

and strongly felt impulses of our people to share

with their neighbors their caring and their


President Jimmy Carter

The 1980s

“Each one of us is responsible for building the

society we want. Peace Corps volunteers do that

with people-to-people exchanges, using their

energy, their spirit, and their creativity to

solve problems. This is the American way. Once we

see a need, we want to serve — even when the

neighbor we reach out to help is halfway around

the world.”

– President Ronald Reagan

The 1990s

The Peace Corps is a remarkable tradition that

emphasizes that our country is about more than

power and wealth. It is also about the power of

our values and the power of a helping hand, the

ethic of service, and the understanding that we

have an obligation not only to our own people, to

people around the world to help them make the

most of their own lives.”

– President Bill Clinton

Here is a quote from a volunteer (also in 1990):

“My parents, who had served as Volunteers in

Kenya 25 years before I joined the Peace Corps,

had absolutely no idea how much influence they

had during their two years of service. They did

not consider themselves exceptional Volunteers;

they simply went to class, taught a variety of

subjects in the best way they knew how, and loved

the people they lived among. But returning with

me to their village so many years later, they

were struck by the undeniable realization that

they had indeed changed people’s lives.”

– Tara Elizabeth Beverwyk (Peace Corps

Volunteer, Malawi, 1995-98)

The effects are we have learned great amounts about many other

countries. We have stood on a foundation for over forty years that is still talked

about as being a movement of peace and love to this very day. We have seen

that we as a nation, as a people can survive in the most rigorous environments.

We were still able to spread knowledge, truth, and helping hands to these other

coutnries that really need are help.

I feel that the Peace Corps was a great organization to be started on

March 1, 1961. It gave people of America a relief from the war and way to

make America feel great about something that they had put together for the

betters of others for once. I state this as my conclusion without the vast

movement of the Peace Corps would we really know how great of an effect that it

would have on us.

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