Nearly 500 Peace Corps volunteers stationed around the world are breaking the traditional mold in this long-standing organization. The over-50 crowd offers valuable real-world experience, a wealth of professional expertise, and the willingness to lend a hand in areas of the world who are experiencing profound challenges.
Alice Carter is an 87-year-old Peace Corps volunteer working in a youth center in Morocco. The organization realizes the value of having mature volunteers in their ranks and because of the dedication and hard work of volunteers like Alice, they are now actively recruiting in a more mature demographic.
People interested in a life with the Peace Corps may think they missed the boat (literally) after they turned 25. But baby boomers who chose a different path now have a chance to make their world-traveling dreams come true.
Older Americans find volunteering abroad fulfilling, exciting, and even financially rewarding. With a standard salary, between 13 and 20 paid vacation days per year, 13 days of sick leave per year, and a selection of health and life insurance options, the Peace Corps becomes a viable option for Americans looking for a way to serve while they earn a small amount of money.
Many people over the age of 50, and well beyond, are waking up to the reality that they have much to offer and perhaps even more than they did in their younger years. Older volunteers serve as mentors to the inexperienced young people that join the Peace Corps after college.
The Peace Corps has no age limit on volunteers. The organization actively seeks any American who wants to serve.
While a two-year commitment to an organization that serves people in the poorest and most challenging environments isn’t for everyone, the example that older Peace Corps volunteers offer is valuable.
At the end of the 1960’s, only 1% of Peace Corps volunteers were over the age of 50. Now, the number has risen to more than 7%. Giving back to the community is a worthy goal at any age and many Americans over 50 see the value in seeking that opportunity.