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August 14, 2007

New 50+ Peace Corp Initiative, A Big Success

On Monday August 6, 2007, nearly 100 potential volunteers attended an informational meeting about a new 50+ Peace Corps initiative at Farmingdale State College. The goal of the new initiative is to gain baby boomer involvement in worldwide public service.

The message presented by New York Regional Office Manager Vinny Wickes, Peace Corps Director Ron Tschetter, and Representative Steve Israel (D, NY) was that the Peace Corps might be the answer for those who have been asking themselves, "What's next?"

Mr. Wickes described the outreach to people who might think their age would disqualify them from joining the Peace Corps and presented a ten minute Peace Corps 50+ Focus video. Director Tschetter emphasized that volunteers age 50 and over are valuable assets to the Peace Corps because of their extensive experience. He said, "I can see it as a way to really deepen, broaden and enhance the Peace Corps around the globe."

Representative Steve Israel spoke about his support of Director Tschetter's proposal to increase the number of Peace Corps volunteers over the age of 50. He defined the Peace Corps work worldwide as of "soft power." People over 50 who want to impact future generations globally can do it. Giving people medical attention, teaching them to read and other examples of "soft power" can change the world.