Over its 50 years, the Peace Corps has received more volunteers from U.C. Berkeley than from any other university. A pioneer in that legacy, journalist and Berkeley alumna Maureen Orth has created a unique, interactive storybook to commemorate this year’s anniversary of the Corps’ founding.
Orth, who volunteered in Colombia after her graduation from Berkeley in 1964, collaborated with filmmaker Susan Koch to create PeaceCorpsPostcards.com, a web site where volunteers whose lives were changed by the Peace Corps can post stories, pictures and blogs.
Orth, a writer for Vanity Fair magazine, describes her time in the Peace Corps as “one of the most important in my life.” While there she helped build Escuela Marina Orth, a bilingual school in Colombia. She continues to be involved, as founder of the Marina Orth Foundation, which has brought the One Laptop Per Child program into Colombia’s schools.
Anyone in the PeaceCorps community may post their stories to the site. Among the features already included is the story of former U.S. Senator Chris Dodd, who recounts hearing a speech by then-candidate John F. Kennedy that inspired him to volunteer in the Dominican Republic.
The Peace Corps is celebrating the anniversary with a range of events, including one in Colombia, which was one of the Corp’s first host countries.