A top Peace Corps producer
From Nicaragua to Indonesia—and plenty of points in between—Loyola University Chicago alumni are serving in the Peace Corps to make the world a better place.
• Explore an interactive map of where Loyola’s graduates are serving.
• Click here for the full Peace Corps list of top volunteer-producing schools.
2017: No. 14
2015: No. 24
2014: No. 16
2013: No. 18
With 18 Ramblers currently volunteering around the world, Loyola ranked No. 14 among medium-sized schools on the Peace Corps’s 2017 Top Volunteer-Producing Colleges and Universities list. Since the Peace Corps began in 1961, 476 Loyola alumni have traveled abroad to serve as volunteers.
Molly O’Brien, a 2014 Loyola graduate, is now serving as a youth-in-development volunteer in Thailand. As a student, O’Brien participated in alternative break immersions and service groups like Loyola4Chicago, while earning bachelor’s degrees in history and communication.
She said the University’s emphasis on service and social justice prepared her well for Peace Corps service.
“I saw volunteering not as something you just did to take up time, but as a way to learn about the world and all of the wonderful people in it,” O’Brien said. “Loyola often encourages students to consider a year or two of volunteering after graduating, but it wasn’t a brochure or website that convinced me. It was my entire Loyola experience.”
In Thailand, O’Brien improves leadership and life skills among youth by promoting volunteerism, improving English speaking skills, and teaching communication and critical thinking skills within her community.
“My community recently hosted an English and leadership development camp, and I was so proud to see all of my students come together and have fun, make new friends, and learn,” O’Brien said. “They are teaching me just as much as I am teaching them, and they make every day worth it.”
After she completes her service in 2018, O’Brien hopes to work for a nonprofit organization focused on overcoming barriers that women in developing countries face. Her dream job, she said, is to work for the United Nations and improve girls’ education across the world.
Loyola was joined on the list by two other universities in Illinois, earning the state the unique distinction of being among only 11 states and the District of Columbia with three or more ranked schools.
BY THE NUMBERS
The 18 Loyola alumni now serving in the Peace Corps are in the following countries: China (3 volunteers); Morocco (3); Tanzania (2); Albania (1); Benin (1); Guinea (1); Indonesia (1); Mongolia (1); Namibia (1); Nicaragua (1); Thailand (1); Togo (1); and Uganda (1).