On the 50th anniversary of his passing, we honor the legacy of President John F. Kennedy. We trace our roots and mission to 1960, when then-Senator Kennedy challenged students at the University of Michigan to serve their country in the cause of peace by living and working in developing countries. His inspiration led to the establishment of this agency in 1961 with a mission to promote world peace and friendship.
Today, we are more vital than ever, working in collaboration with public and private partners in emerging and essential areas such as education, information technology, agriculture and environment, and business development in countries around the world. The Peace Corps is committed to giving all Americans who want to serve the opportunity to make a difference and bring their experience back home to enrich their communities here in the United States.
Since 1961, more than 215,000 Americans of all ages and backgrounds have responded to Kennedy’s enduring challenge, demonstrating how the power of an idea can capture the imagination of an entire nation.