Kitsap County ranks high in producing Peace Corps’ volunteers

Kitsap County joins two Oregon communities in ranking high in per capital participation with the Peace Corps in 2011. Eugene and Roseburg in Oregon are also on the organization’s Top Ten list.

This is the first year for Kitsap, labeled “Bremerton-Silverdale,” the traditional grouping when organizations like this issue lists categorizing Census groups.

Kitsap has 9.1 volunteers per 100,000 residents according to a Peace Corps press release, which follows.

Oregon is the third highest volunteer producer and Washington is seventh, per capita.

Bremerton-Silverdale Debuts at No. 7 on Peace Corps’ List of Top Volunteer Producing Metropolitan Areas Per Capita
Seattle Ranks No. 6 Among Metro Areas; Washington Ranks No. 6 Among States

SEATTLE – December 8, 2011 – The Bremerton-Silverdale area makes its debut on the Peace Corps’ Top Metropolitan Areas list this year. Twenty-two currently-serving Peace Corps volunteers call the Bremerton-Silverdale area home, making it the No. 9 metropolitan area in the nation for producing Peace Corps volunteers per capita.

“Washington is the anchor for the Peace Corps in the Northwest,” Peace Corps Regional Manager Janet Allen said. “Many cities, towns and universities across the state have made huge contributions to the 50-year legacy of the Peace Corps. It’s no surprise to see several metro areas in Washington on the Peace Corps rankings this year.”

Seattle ranks No. 6 among metropolitan areas and Washington ranks No. 6 among states. Olympia ranks No. 13 among metropolitan areas per capita.

Historically, Washington has produced 8,631 Peace Corps volunteers who have helped promote a better understanding between Americans and the people of the 139 countries in which they have served. This ranks the state No. 3 for historical production of Peace Corps volunteers behind California and New York, respectively.

To see the full list of Peace Corps Top States and Metro Areas, visit www.peacecorps.gov/media .

Peace Corps’ nine regional recruiting offices across the United States work to recruit and provide information and guidance to prospective Peace Corps volunteers. The Peace Corps Northwest Regional Office serves Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Washington. Peace Corps representatives work locally throughout the region. Applicants are encouraged to plan ahead and apply for Peace Corps service one year in advance of their target departure date.

The Peace Corps is recruiting Americans from all backgrounds and skill levels. Americans with backgrounds in agriculture, the environment, teaching English as a second language, and other technical or language skills related to Peace Corps assignment areas, such as French or Spanish language, are encouraged to apply online at www.peacecorps.gov/apply .

About the Peace Corps: President John F. Kennedy established the Peace Corps on March 1, 1961, by executive order. Throughout 2011, the Peace Corps is commemorating 50 years of promoting peace and friendship around the world. Historically, more than 200,000 Americans have served with the Peace Corps to promote a better understanding between Americans and the people of 139 host countries. Today, 9,095 volunteers are working with local communities in 75 host countries. Peace Corps volunteers must be U.S. citizens and at least 18 years of age. Peace Corps service is a 27-month commitment. Visit www.peacecorps.gov for more information.

*Peace Corps data current as of September 30, 2011. The metropolitan area data used to determine Peace Corps’ rankings is derived from the most current U.S. Census Bureau “Metropolitan and Micropolitan Statistical Area” data. The U.S. Census population data is based on 2009 estimates. Volunteers self-report their home city and state on their Peace Corps application.

2 thoughts on “Kitsap County ranks high in producing Peace Corps’ volunteers

  1. Here’s a list of local folks serving in the Peace Corps. Some of the 22 have not given media releases, which is why they’re not all are named here.

    Margaret Carroll of Bainbridge Island, Nicaragua
    Michael Corcoran of Bainbridge Island, Burkina Faso
    Katherine Richards of Indianola, Senegal
    Joshua Morris of Port Orchard, Cameroon
    Patricia Sergeson of Poulsbo, El Salvador
    William Packard of Bainbridge Island, Morocco
    Stesha Turney of Bremerton, Jordan
    Jacob Hansonof Kingston, Cambodia
    Jennifer Ozawa-Hanson of Kingston, Cambodia
    Matthew Nofziger of Silverdale, Suriname
    Peter Rengstorf of Suquamish, Turkmenistan

    I asked Seattle Peace Corps representative Melanie Forthun what Kitsap County might have in common with other cities with a high per capita participation rate. Here’s what she said, “There is no one thing that stands out. However, we tend to see various combinations of a few factors: (1) active returned Peace Corps volunteers in the community, (2) support from local universities and community organizations, and (3) communities with residents who are globally-minded with a commitment to service.”

    Chris Henry, reporter

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