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Hawaiʻi played an instrumental role for the Peace Corps, training more than 7K volunteers in the '60s

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Returned Peace Corps Volunteers of Hawai'i

This year, the Peace Corps celebrates 60 years of sending American volunteers abroad for public service. Did you know Hawaiʻi played an instrumental role at the organization's outset, serving as a training ground for more than 7,000 volunteers from 1962 through 1971?

The Conversation sat down with one of those early recruits, retired Big Island teacher Patricia Richardson, who remembers an impromptu speech by President John F. Kennedy that started her on the path to becoming a global citizen.

The local Returned Peace Corps Volunteers community will host events to commemorate the 60th Anniversary from Nov. 15 to Nov. 21, including a couple of documentary screenings and a service project at Hamakua Harvest in Honokaʻa. Click here for more details.

This interview aired on The Conversation on Nov. 11, 2021

Lillian Tsang is the senior producer of The Conversation. She has been part of the talk show team since it first aired in 2011. Contact her at
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