November 1, 2005: Headlines: Speaking Out: Awards: Humor: Peace Corps: Peace Corps establishes awards for top Peace Corps Volunteers

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By Admin1 (admin) ( - on Wednesday, November 09, 2005 - 10:10 pm: Edit Post

Peace Corps establishes awards for top Peace Corps Volunteers

Peace Corps establishes awards for top Peace Corps Volunteers

Gaddi H. Vasquez has established the Kennedy Service Awards to honor the hard work and service of two current Peace Corps Volunteers, two returned Peace Corps Volunteers, and two Peace Corps staff members. The award to currently serving volunteers will be based on a demonstration of impact, sustainability, creativity, and catalytic effect. Submit your nominations by December 9.

PCOL Editorial: In the 45 years of the Peace Corps the agency has never found it necessary to judge and compare the contributions of actively serving Peace Corps Volunteers and has no business doing so now. Peace Corps service is not about awards and never should be. The NPCA presents the prestigious Shriver Award but that award was established by RPCVs and is presented to RPCVs for service after the Peace Corps. The decision of a US Government Agency to present an award to the two "best" volunteers should be rescinded. This award is a big mistake and just demonstrates how insulated the current administration is from those who have served.

Peace Corps establishes awards for top Peace Corps Volunteers

In celebration of the Peace Corps' 45 th anniversary, Peace Corps Director Gaddi H. Vasquez has established the Kennedy Service Awards to honor the hard work and service of Volunteers, returned Volunteers, and staff.

The Kennedy Service Awards will be given every five years to two current Peace Corps Volunteers, two returned Peace Corps Volunteers, and two Peace Corps staff members. These six recipients will exemplify the Peace Corps' best in furthering the agency's mission and three goals of helping people of interested countries in meeting their need for trained men and women, helping promote a better understanding of Americans on the part of the peoples served, and helping promote a better understanding of other peoples on the part of Americans; and in demonstrating exemplary service and leadership.

Volunteers, returned Volunteers, and staff all contribute to the Peace Corps mission of service through the three goals. The John F. Kennedy Service Awards are an opportunity to recognize a few of the many people who go beyond the call of duty for the Peace Corps, both in the United States and in countries where the Peace Corps serves.

The six awards include:

Currently serving Volunteer (2 awards)
Service in host country community

* Demonstrates impact, sustainability, creativity, and catalytic effect (two awards)
* At site at least 18 months

Peace Corps Staff (2 awards)
Service in extra ordinary circumstances

* Demonstrates inspiration and leadership in challenging circumstances (one award)
* Demonstrates longer term leadership and support directly or indirectly for the Volunteer, giving beyond expectations (one award)

Returned Peace Corps Volunteers (2 awards)
Service in community after Peace Corps

* Demonstrates continued domestic or international service in the community (one award)
* Demonstrates Peace Corps related service with Peace Corps domestic and/or overseas Volunteer related programs (one award)

Anyone can nominate individuals for the above awards. Nominations are accepted through December 9, 2005. Those selected will be honored March 4, 2006, at the 45th anniversary event at the Kennedy Library, Boston, Massachusetts, and featured on the Peace Corps website.

There are three ways to submit your nomination:

1. Download the nomination form (right click and select "Save Target As ") and email to
2. Download the nomination form and mail to:

John F. Kennedy Service Awards
Peace Corps
1111 20th St. NW
Washington, DC 20526

3. Complete the questions below and submit online

Nominations must be at most 300 words (about 1 page) in length.

When this story was posted in November 2005, this was on the front page of PCOL:

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Peace Corps Online The Independent News Forum serving Returned Peace Corps Volunteers
Peace Corps at highest Census in 30 years Date: October 22 2005 No: 745 Peace Corps at highest Census in 30 years
Congratulations to the Peace Corps for the highest number of volunteers in 30 years with 7,810 volunteers serving in 71 posts across the globe. Of course, the President's proposal to double the Peace Corps to 15,000 volunteers made in his State of the Union Address in 2002 is now a long forgotten dream. With deficits in federal spending stretching far off into the future, any substantive increase in the number of volunteers will have to wait for new approaches to funding and for a new administration. Choose your candidate and start working for him or her now.

Top Stories and Breaking News PCOL Magazine Peace Corps Library RPCV Directory Sign Up

Military Option sparks concerns Date: September 13 2005 No: 731 Military Option sparks concerns
The U.S. military is allowing recruits to meet part of their reserve military obligations after active duty by serving in the Peace Corps. Read why there is opposition to the program among RPCVs. Director Vasquez says the agency has a long history of accepting qualified applicants who are in inactive military status. John Coyne says "Not only no, but hell no!" and RPCV Chris Matthews leads the debate on "Hardball." Avi Spiegel says Peace Corps is not the place for soldiers while Coleman McCarthy says to Welcome Soldiers to the Peace Corps. Read the results of our poll among RPCVs. Latest: Congressman John Kline introduces legislation to alter the program to remove the Peace Corps as an option for completing an individual’s military enlistment requirement.

Why blurring the lines puts PCVs in danger Date: October 22 2005 No: 738 Why blurring the lines puts PCVs in danger
When the National Call to Service legislation was amended to include Peace Corps in December of 2002, this country had not yet invaded Iraq and was not in prolonged military engagement in the Middle East, as it is now. Read the story of how one volunteer spent three years in captivity from 1976 to 1980 as the hostage of a insurrection group in Colombia in Joanne Marie Roll's op-ed on why this legislation may put soldier/PCVs in the same kind of danger. Latest: Read the ongoing dialog on the subject.

'Celebration of Service' a major success Date: October 10 2005 No: 730 'Celebration of Service' a major success
The Peace Corps Fund's 'Celebration of Service' on September 29 in New York City was a major success raising approximately $100,000 for third goal activities. In the photo are Maureen Orth (Colombia); John Coyne (Ethiopia) Co-founder of the Peace Corps Fund; Caroline Kennedy; Barbara Anne Ferris (Morocco) Co-founder; Former Senator Harris Wofford, member of the Advisory Board. Read the story here.

PC apologizes for the "Kasama incident" Date: October 13 2005 No: 737 PC apologizes for the "Kasama incident"
The District Commissioner for the Kasama District in Zambia issued a statement banning Peace Corps activities for ‘grave’ social misconduct and unruly behavior for an incident that occurred on September 24 involving 13 PCVs. Peace Corps said that some of the information put out about the incident was "inflammatory and false." On October 12, Country Director Davy Morris met with community leaders and apologized for the incident. All PCVs involved have been reprimanded, three are returning home, and a ban in the district has since been lifted.

Top Stories: October 10, 2005 Date: October 9 2005 No: 727 Top Stories: October 10, 2005
Carl Pope says the looting of America has only begun 2 Oct
Report of PCV Misconduct in Zambia 7 Oct
Chic Dambach speaks in Oklahoma 6 Oct
Murphy to give papers to Heinz museum 6 Oct
Mike Honda speaks out on Katrina 5 Oct
Kinky Friedman could be the next governor of Texas 5 Oct
Peter McPherson urges new nuclear weapon designs 5 Oct
Doyle and Green in dead heat for Wisconsin Governor 5 Oct
NPCA Membership Directory ready in late November 5 Oct
GOP hopefuls avoiding Taft 4 Oct
Ask not 4 Oct
Russell Carollo wins journalism prize for "The Toll of War" 4 Oct
Mark Gearan says provision was a mistake 4 Oct
Mike Tidwell says Bayou has been sinking for years 3 Oct
Carl Pope writes: Preparing for Global Warming 3 Oct
Director Vasquez Meets with Volunteers in Gulf Coast 3 Oct
John McCain's call to service 3 Oct
Joshua Berman wins Lowell Thomas Travel Writing Award 2 Oct
Operation Offset proposes freeze in Peace Corps Funding 1 Oct

Returned Volunteers respond to Hurricane Katrina Date: September 12 2005 No: 729 Returned Volunteers respond to Hurricane Katrina
First and foremost, Give. Then volunteer with the Crisis Corps. Carol Bellamy says "In situations such as this one, money is needed the most" and added that Hurricane Katrina's impact on New Orleans is comparable to last year's tsunami. Thailand RPCV Thomas Tighe's Direct Relief International has committed an initial $250,000 in cash to assist hurricane victims. Mayor Tom Murphy (RPCV Paraguay) says Pittsburgh is ready to embrace refugees from devastated areas. Brazil RPCV Robert Backus is among the first Vermont doctors to volunteer to travel to Louisiana to treat victims. Latest: FEMA requests RPCVs to assist in recovery efforts through the Crisis Corps and the Peace Corps hopes to send 400 RPCVs to the Gulf Coast for short term assignments to assist victims with their applications for federal aid.

The Peace Corps Library Date: March 27 2005 No: 536 The Peace Corps Library
Peace Corps Online is proud to announce that the Peace Corps Library is now available online. With over 30,000 index entries in 500 categories, this is the largest collection of Peace Corps related stories in the world. From Acting to Zucchini, you can find hundreds of stories about what RPCVs with your same interests or from your Country of Service are doing today. If you have a web site, support the "Peace Corps Library" and link to it today.

Friends of the Peace Corps 170,000  strong Date: April 2 2005 No: 543 Friends of the Peace Corps 170,000 strong
170,000 is a very special number for the RPCV community - it's the number of Volunteers who have served in the Peace Corps since 1961. It's also a number that is very special to us because March is the first month since our founding in January, 2001 that our readership has exceeded 170,000. And while we know that not everyone who comes to this site is an RPCV, they are all "Friends of the Peace Corps." Thanks everybody for making PCOL your source of news for the Returned Volunteer community.

Read the stories and leave your comments.

Some postings on Peace Corps Online are provided to the individual members of this group without permission of the copyright owner for the non-profit purposes of criticism, comment, education, scholarship, and research under the "Fair Use" provisions of U.S. Government copyright laws and they may not be distributed further without permission of the copyright owner. Peace Corps Online does not vouch for the accuracy of the content of the postings, which is the sole responsibility of the copyright holder.

Story Source: Peace Corps

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; Speaking Out; Awards; Humor


By Robert Moulthrop ( - on Tuesday, November 15, 2005 - 11:20 am: Edit Post

On the proposed Awards -- I agree completely with the PCOL editorial. Who is really to say which of us made a better or more important contribution. Were the 700 plus teachers in Nigeria in the early 60s "better" than community service Volunteers in neighboring countries? We should rather honor those who died in service, or who have died since. Or we should rather look to the life of every volunteer, of each of us, to see what the ripple effect has been since the Peace Corps was established. As to staff, while I appreciated them at the time, know we couldn't have done it without them, theirs is not a public honor to claim. Back then, it was all about supporting the Volunteers and making the program as a whole work. Period. If the agency wishes to honor its own internally, I say go for it. Placques for all. But a public honoring of Peace Corps Volunteers past and present, coming at a time when our all-volunteer Armed Forces are stretched thin and dying, strikes this RPCV as the height of hubris. I firmlly believe that the Peace Corps should continue to be the Peace Corps, and let the laurels rest of the accomplishments of all.

Robert Moulthrop
Nigeria VII 1963 - 1965

By RPCV ( - on Tuesday, November 15, 2005 - 11:36 am: Edit Post

I don't think this is the first time an awards program has been proposed or implemented within the PC agency. When I was a PCV, I know the agency was awarding staff members by region (e.g., EMA). I'm not sure whether PCVs were being singled out for awards, although it would have been even worse to be awarding staff and not PCVs. And what about counterparts?

In any case, that program was terminated, most likley for the same reasons this program will be eventually be terminated ... It is a contradiction to PC's mission, and the 'awards politics' will give rise to resentment (How are the candidates nominated and selected? My guess: those generating the most photo opps and PR potential).

I agree with the above editorial that this awards program should be scrapped altogether.

By Les Everett ( - on Tuesday, November 15, 2005 - 11:39 am: Edit Post

If the award is viewed as "outstanding volunteer contributions" rather than the "top" volunteers, it would be valuable in providing another point of visibility for Peace Corps. We would rather see that than the publicity provided by drunk slobs writing graffiti on a water tower in Zambia. Methinks your position on the awards is a bit petty.
Les Everett
RPCV Zaire 73-75

By jlconrad ( - on Tuesday, November 15, 2005 - 12:17 pm: Edit Post

Awards? Not in true PC style. Staff Awards? Not at all unless they were PCVs first.
My nomination for staff award: Jacques Wilmore. Hes still in Africa teaching now, and continuing his good works started in Nigeria 1962-5. He was an outstanding leader, and supporter of the PCV, regardless of where or what they were doing. Bright, entheusiastic, caring for all he came into contact. Deserves the Shriver Award, or Freedom Medal. No better AMerican ever walked the earth. jlconrad PCN

By RPCV ( - on Tuesday, November 15, 2005 - 12:07 pm: Edit Post

PC has ample opportunity (and creativity on board) to publicize and promote PCV contributions as outstanding examples without attaching awards ...

Featuring regional PCV projects that emphasize PCVs and counterparts working together and positioned as examples of the outstanding contributions made by PCVs worldwide would be a far better idea.

By Meredith Dalebout ( - on Tuesday, November 15, 2005 - 1:58 pm: Edit Post

I agree with the PCOL editorial: awards for active PCVs are unnecessary and undesirable. Same for staff. RPCV third-goal activities are different and often warrant an award.

By ( - on Tuesday, November 15, 2005 - 4:49 pm: Edit Post

every voluteer should be respected ,not feted even those avoiding viet nam did their jobs! pat hartnett ecx 1971-73.viet nam vet 64-66.

By Susan Davis ( - on Tuesday, November 15, 2005 - 7:55 pm: Edit Post

It has been my experience that there are people who promote themselves and people who just do a darn good job day in and day out and receive little recognition. Most Peace Corps volunteers I knew were of the latter variety. Let's applaud the accompishments of the many rather than single out a very few for rewards and awards. The point is to promote a community, not a competition.

By Anonymous ( - on Thursday, November 17, 2005 - 6:49 pm: Edit Post

It's about time to give out the Michael D. Brown FEMA/International Arabian Horse Association Director's Award to Gaddi H. Vasquez.

By Anonymous ( - on Friday, November 18, 2005 - 11:06 pm: Edit Post

It is saddening to see the evolution of the Peace Corps toward a judgmental mentality, in the form of the proposed awards, rather than focusing on substance. This is parallel to motivating students with grades, class rankings, or money rather than enjoyment of subject matter or a desire to be useful. It seems to me that the strengths of the Peace Corps are attributable to most PCV's somehow having escaped the standard "go for the gold star" mentality until volunteering. Let's not taint the good work with such artificiality!

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