Written by: Tiffany Westry
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Undergraduate students at the University of Alabama at Birmingham can strengthen their Peace Corps application through UAB’s new Peace Corps Prep program.
This international development-focused program will allow undergraduates to gain international leadership and public service skills, giving them stronger applications when applying for Peace Corps service or other international opportunities postgraduation.
“Since 2006, more than 100 students have entered the Peace Corps after completing degrees at UAB,” said Suzanne Austin, Ph.D., UAB senior vice provost. “Peace Corps Prep will provide an opportunity for more students to hone their public service skills and to prepare for international experiences.”
Peace Corps Prep aims to prepare Peace Corps applicants through the completion of courses, many of which satisfy core curriculum requirements, in order to make them more competitive and qualified applicants. With its continuous institutional focus on preparing global citizens, UAB’s academic departments and offices across campus are already offering the courses and leadership opportunities required to earn this certification.
|“Peace Corps Prep will provide an opportunity for more students to hone their public service skills and to prepare for international experiences.”|
For the last 56 years, the Peace Corps has been sending the best and brightest Americans abroad on behalf of the United States to tackle some of the most pressing needs of communities around the world. Volunteers work at the grassroots level to develop sustainable solutions that address challenges in education, health, economic development, agriculture, environment and youth development. Through their service, volunteers gain a unique cultural understanding and a lifelong commitment to service that positions them to succeed in today’s global economy. Since President John F. Kennedy established the Peace Corps in 1961, nearly 220,000 Americans of all ages have served in 140 countries worldwide.
Amy Badham, director of the Office of Service Learning and Undergraduate Research and returned Peace Corps volunteer, will head the university’s efforts to recruit and prepare students for world-changing opportunities for international development and the Peace Corps.
“Serving as a Peace Corps volunteer really helped me to understand my role as a global citizen,” Badham said. “The Peace Corps is a great opportunity for UAB graduates who want to obtain experience working in their field, broaden their world view and serve the global community.”