Peace Corps recruits Butler students

Kate Goodrich | Staff Reporter

The Peace Corps will have a booth at the Big Dawg Fair this afternoon. The willingness of Butler students to volunteer regularly attracts Peace Corps recruiters and brings them to Butler’s campus.
“We’ve seen our applicants from Butler definitely have that spirit of volunteerism and that global perspective,” said Jessica Mayle, Peace Corps public affairs coordinator for the midwest region.
Kendrall Masten, regional recruiter for the Peace Corps, tries to come to Butler at least once or twice a semester, he said. He presented at an information session Monday night.
Students who go into the Peace Corps have typically studied abroad and look to go to graduate school, Masten said.
Since its establishment in 1961, the Peace Corps has served 139 countries with over 210,000 volunteers, according to its website. Volunteers are placed to serve a country in need for two years.
Volunteers are trained to work toward three goals: to meet the needs of the women and men in the village, to share American culture and to bring one’s experience home to share with others, Masten said. He first volunteered in Zambia and now shares his experience with others who hope to do the same.
“Working in the Peace Corps is an opportunity to make a difference,” he said. “It forms our mission to promote world peace and friendship.”
The Peace Corps has approximately 8,000 volunteers serving around the world. Butler University currently has three alumni volunteering. In the 52-year history of the Peace Corps, Butler sent an average of two volunteers from each graduating class.
“It’s a life-defining opportunity to live and work abroad,” Masten said. “[Volunteers] gain international work experience and service itself, which allows them to look more desirable to employers and graduate schools.”
The Peace Corps will pay for partial or full graduate school tuition for participants. They also provide full medical and dental benefits as well as a stipend similar to what an official in the host village would make, Masten added.
After the Peace Corps, many students go into private sector or not-for-profit work. They also have the opportunity to be automatically considered for a position in the federal government if they meet the minimum job qualifications.
Steve Longo, a freshman majoring in political science, said he is considering joining the Peace Corps upon graduating. He first heard of the Peace Corps and its mission in his high school history class.
“These people are volunteering. They want to be there, and they want to make a difference,” Longo said.
Longo said he feels an experience in the Peace Corps would be beneficial for his future career in international politics.
The Peace Corps accepts volunteers from all majors. The organization provides chances to volunteer in education, agriculture, business, health and other interest areas.
“It’s something that, in middle school, my teacher had done, and he had nothing but nice things to say about it,”freshman Nancy Henz said.
Henz had considered joining the Peace Corps to have “the ability to serve others, travel to other countries, really witness what other people are going through, and use [her] specific skill set to help them.”
The Peace Corps has a rolling application process which typically takes about eight months. Students usually apply the summer before their senior year, so they can go abroad the year after they graduate.