Project Title

The Peace Corps and Youth Development: Returned Volunteers’ Perceptions of Practice

Presenters

Faculty Sponsor Name

Dr. Darina Lepadatu

Disciplines

Other Social and Behavioral Sciences

Abstract (300 words maximum)

As of 2018, over 250,000 Returned Peace Corps Volunteers (RPCVs) had served in over 140 countries worldwide, with these former Volunteer having worked with youth both in schools and in their communities; however, very little has been studied on the roles in which these RPCVs played in, and their feelings towards, this work. The purpose of this study is to gain a better understanding of the ways in which RPCVs reflect on their work with youth during their service with the Peace Corps and gender-based considerations in their community service, helping to gain insight on the ways Volunteers perceive their service. Using personal interviews and textual content analysis of RPCVs focusing on the certain perceptions of their service, this study aims to fill a gap in the existing literature on the Peace Corps, which lacks in specific attention towards the Peace Corps’ role in youth development. The current findings show that the perceptions of RPCVs vary between age, gender, countries served, and the years of their service. Though more research is necessary, the finding provide a direction for practical policy choices for the Peace Corps regarding Volunteer activities and attitudes while addressing youth development.

Keywords: Peace Corps, Returned Peace Corps Volunteers, youth development, female empowerment, gender equality, international development

Project Type

Oral Presentation (15-min time slots)

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The Peace Corps and Youth Development: Returned Volunteers’ Perceptions of Practice

As of 2018, over 250,000 Returned Peace Corps Volunteers (RPCVs) had served in over 140 countries worldwide, with these former Volunteer having worked with youth both in schools and in their communities; however, very little has been studied on the roles in which these RPCVs played in, and their feelings towards, this work. The purpose of this study is to gain a better understanding of the ways in which RPCVs reflect on their work with youth during their service with the Peace Corps and gender-based considerations in their community service, helping to gain insight on the ways Volunteers perceive their service. Using personal interviews and textual content analysis of RPCVs focusing on the certain perceptions of their service, this study aims to fill a gap in the existing literature on the Peace Corps, which lacks in specific attention towards the Peace Corps’ role in youth development. The current findings show that the perceptions of RPCVs vary between age, gender, countries served, and the years of their service. Though more research is necessary, the finding provide a direction for practical policy choices for the Peace Corps regarding Volunteer activities and attitudes while addressing youth development.

Keywords: Peace Corps, Returned Peace Corps Volunteers, youth development, female empowerment, gender equality, international development