By the numbers

Top five colleges in terms of Peace Corps volunteers:

1. University of Washington: 101

2. University of Colorado at Boulder: 95

3. University of California at Berkeley: 89

4. Mighigan State University: 86

5. University of Florida: 79

The Peace Corps is seeing a significant increase in volunteers this year due to an expanded budget and additional programs.

As of Sept. 30, 8,655 volunteers are serving in 77 host countries, an increase of 13 percent from 2009. This is the largest volunteer group since 1970, which saw more than 9,000 volunteers serving in 59 countries.

The Peace Corps’ budget increased from $340 million in 2009 to $400 million in funds allocated to the organization in 2010.

Peace Corps spokeswoman Kelly McCormack said the University of Colorado has contributed greatly to the success of the organization since its inception in 1961. There are currently 95 CU graduates volunteering, which makes CU-Boulder the second highest university in terms of volunteers produced, said Kevin Shimokawa, a Peace Corps recruiter at CU.

“There appears to be no change in the number of CU volunteers corresponding to the overall jump in numbers,” Shimokawa said. “However, because CU produces so many volunteers on a year-to-year basis, regardless of economic climate, it’s no surprise we have remained near the top without benefit of an up year.”

CU is ranked fifth overall in the number of graduates volunteering for he organization.

“CU alumni are serving as Peace Corps volunteers and assisting communities throughout the world in a variety of ways, including teaching English as a second language, working in HIV/AIDS prevention and care programs and providing advice and instruction on nutrition and food availability issues to mitigate the adverse consequences of the current food security crisis,” McCormack said.

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