Archive - March 25, 2010

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The Peace Corps' Indiana Jones:Lee St. Lawrence
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The Peace Corps: Where The Jobs Are!

The Peace Corps' Indiana Jones:Lee St. Lawrence

Lee St. Lawrence might very well been the prototype of who Shriver had in mind when it came to picking his Peace Corps staff. First, Lee had a great name. Second, he had a great personal story. And, third, there were his dashing and dark and slightly romantic looks. I didn’t know Lee St. Lawrence in those first days of the agency, when he was one of the Mad Men of the Peace Corps, but I knew all about him. Going into  WW II as a teenager,  St. Lawrence of Brockton, Mass, was sent into combat duty in Europe. He stayed overseas for 17 years after the fighting stopped.  St. Lawrence (even with that name!) wasn’t one of Shriver’s ‘rich kids.” He had worked his way through high school as a gandy dancer on the New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad. He studied Greek and Latin at a Catholic Redemptorist Fathers junior college in Pennsylvania, then . . .

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The Peace Corps: Where The Jobs Are!

When I was managing the Peace Corps Office in New York back in the mid-90s, I use to tell applicants that the Peace Corps was the #2, employer of college graduates, right after Enterprise Rent-A-Car. Well, things are getting tougher; the Peace Corps has fallen to #3, following Enterprise (still # 1!) and VerizonWireless, #2. Of the top 100 Employers for the Class of 2010 (according to Phil Gardner, Director of the Collegiate Employment Research Institute at Michigan State), the Peace Corps ‘hired’ 5230 people in 2010 with Bachelor’s Degrees, and another 743 with Masters, for a total of 5973; the agency recruited on 600 campuses. Enterprise, however, went to 800 campuses; they had zero grads with masters. (I was told when I was with the Peace Corps  that Enterprise only wanted employees with C grade averages. I guess a “C” is all it takes to fill out those forms!) The Peace Corps, by the way, has more master’s level Volunteers than Verizon; they hired just 500 . . .

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