WASHINGTON, DC- On the 51st anniversary of the Peace Corps, Congresswoman Jackie Speier (D-San Francisco/San Mateo) released the following statement applauding the work of the 200,000 Americans who have served in 139 countries since the inception of the Peace Corps in 1961:

“The Peace Corps is one of the most influential diplomatic programs that our country offers to promote economic growth and global health through peaceful work in developing countries. Of the 9,000 volunteers currently working in 75 countries, I am proud to have 14 who hail directly from my district.

“Both old and young, Peace Corps volunteers are heroes who have historically strengthened the image of America abroad. They have made lasting contributions in agricultural efficiency, business development, technology sharing, and HIV/AIDS education. Their dedication is heroic. And their global friendships are the reason our great country continues to be cherished as a nation of compassion and leadership throughout cities and villages across the globe.”

The Peace Corps offers a unique experience to make a difference around the world and bring the benefits of that experience back home. The personal and professional rewards of Peace Corps service last a lifetime. Peace Corps volunteers come from all age groups, educational backgrounds, and career paths. Five percent of current volunteers are age 50 or older and there is no upper age limit to volunteer. To learn more about volunteering, visit www.peacecorps.gov.

Volunteers from District 12 are presently working in Albania, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Dominican Republic, Eastern Caribbean, Ethiopia, Kyrgyzstan, Mexico, Moldova, Namibia, Philippines, Senegal, and Ukraine.