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Peace Corps changes lives at CU
CU is gaining recognition for being number one again… and this time it’s not for being the number one party school. CU has been ranked the number one university for Peace Corps volunteers for the second year in a row.
The Peace Corps is known for attracting service-hungry travelers with a desire to help cultures overseas. Whether they are providing medical services and education or helping to farm impoverished communities, Peace Corps volunteers are dedicated to serving other peoples and making positive changes.
However, like CU alum Darren Legge discovered, being a Peace Corps volunteer comes with some obstacles. Legge grew up learning about the Peace Corps from his mother who volunteered in the 70’s. His hardest challenge was proving to the local family he farmed with that even Americans can do manual labor.
Once they realized how hard he worked and how dedicated he was, they accepted him more openly. One day Legge was approached by a high school student who said, “Hey, you work like us.” This is one of his fondest memories.
Now the opportunity to build these memories provides the chance to gain school credit simultaneously. CU has added the Master’s International Program, which allows students to work on a thesis while abroad and gain school credit when they return.
Director of CU’s Institute for Ethical and Civil Engagement, Peter Simmons, thinks the program allows students to really integrate service with academics.
Simmons is not surprised by CU’s ranking as number one, saying:
“We seem to attract a number of students at CU who both are passionate about service and passionate about doing it overseas in underdeveloped countries.”
Legge’s advice to students considering the opportunity is to be open-minded and to realize that not all the big successes will be technical in nature – some may be internal as well.
Legge says, “I’m humbled by the experience. Making that leap is important in anything that you do.”
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