In its 2017 Top Volunteer-Producing Colleges and Universities list, the Peace Corps announced this week that St. Mary’s College of Maryland is ranked no. 4 among small schools.
“Peace Corps service is an unparalleled leadership opportunity that enables college and university alumni to use the creative-thinking skills they developed in school to make an impact in communities around the world,” Acting Peace Corps Director Sheila Crowley said. “Many college graduates view Peace Corps as a launching pad for their careers because volunteers return home with the cultural competency and entrepreneurial spirit sought after in most fields.”
The Peace Corps was established in 1961. Since that time,136 alumni of St. Mary’s College have traveled abroad to volunteer. St. Mary’s College last made the list in 2014 at no. 21 and has made the list numerous times since the agency was established.
The College currently has 12 alumni volunteering abroad. Among those is St. Mary’s College alumna Teresa Padgett ’15, who is working at a rural primary school in Botswana. “The smiles and high fives I receive from students each day give me the energy to follow through with projects and keep working throughout the many challenges that get thrown my way,” says Padgett. “I will never forget the relationships I’ve built here.”
Padgett also says her education at St. Mary’s College prepared her for Peace Corps service. “Throughout college, I was involved with community service projects. I also studied abroad in the Gambia, where I had the opportunity to learn one of the local languages and work at an NGO called ActionAid. This experience gave me a love for learning about cultures and languages different from my own.”
Along with Padgett’s Peace Corps service in Botswana, several other St. Mary’s College alumni are volunteering throughout Africa in countries including: Zambia; Mozambique; Madagascar; Ghana and Benin.
St. Mary’s College of Maryland, designated the Maryland state honors college in 1992, is ranked one of the best public liberal arts schools in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. Approximately 1,700 students attend the college, nestled on the St. Mary’s River in Southern Maryland.