San Diego State was voted no. 1 of the Top 10 Hispanic-Serving Institutions to send volunteers to the Peace Corps.
SDSU topped the charts after sending 33 Peace Corps volunteers in 2013. California State University, Long Beach and University of New Mexico followed in second and third place respectively.
The Peace Corps has permanent offices across the globe and smaller communities submit requests to have U.S. Peace Corps volunteers assist with their development projects. Volunteers work to establish community projects and programs that can be self-sustainable after they leave.
Jeremiah McDaniel is the public affairs coordinator for the Peace Corps’ west coast public relations division. McDaniel is responsible for developing national media campaigns as well as public relation strategies.
Amber Lung is a public health graduate student at SDSU and a former Peace Corps volunteer who served in Namibia, Africa.
As a community health volunteer, Lung was responsible for a wide variety of tasks including community restoration and setting up a second-hand bike shop as well as a local agricultural training center.
After serving in the Peace Corps, volunteers are applicable for the Coverdell Fellows Program. Here, students have the opportunity to volunteer in a local community while pursuing a graduate degree and receiving financial assistance.
For those Aztecs concerned about finding a job after service in the Peace Corps, a 2013 report from the Corporation for National and Community Service found that working as a volunteer substantially increased likelihood of employment.
Lung said the experience was life changing.
“(I’ve become) more mindful about other parts of the world and appreciate how much complexity there is in other cultures,” Lung said.