Feb. 24 through March 2 is Peace Corps Week, a week to celebrate how Peace Corps volunteers make a difference in host countries around the world and in the United States. Peace Corps Week commemorates the date President John F. Kennedy signed the executive order to establish the Peace Corps on March 1, 1961
The Peace Corps traces its roots and mission to 1960, when then-Sen. John F. Kennedy challenged students at the University of Michigan to serve their country in the cause of peace by living and working in developing countries. From that inspiration grew a federal government agency devoted to world peace and friendship.
Throughout its history, the Peace Corps has adapted and responded to the issues of the times. In an ever-changing world, Peace Corps volunteers have met new challenges with innovation, creativity, determination and compassion. From AIDS education to emerging technologies to environmental preservation to new market economies, Peace Corps volunteers have helped people build better lives for themselves. Their work in villages, towns and cities around the globe represents a legacy of service that has become a significant part of America's history and positive image abroad.
This unique heritage continues to inspire and, since 1961, more than 210,000 Americans have served in the Peace Corps, working in 139 countries and making a difference every day.
To learn more about the Peace Corps and volunteering, see peacecorps.gov.