The Peace Corps recently announced its 2015 rankings of the top volunteer-producing Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs) nationwide, and University of New Mexico ranked No. 3 with 29 alumni currently serving in the Peace Corps.

For the fourth consecutive year, UNM has placed among the top five HSIs in the country for volunteers. Since the Peace Corps was established in 1961, 468 alumni from UNM have traveled abroad to serve as volunteers.

“Hispanic-Serving Institutions are sending a growing number of graduates to the Peace Corps to share their cultural experiences and knowledge with communities abroad,” Peace Corps Director Carrie Hessler-Radelet said. “A diverse volunteer force shows people across all corners of the world what it means to be an American.”

College graduates who volunteer with the Peace Corps make a lasting difference in the lives of others while receiving intensive intercultural, leadership, language and technical training that gives them a competitive edge in today’s global economy. They develop vital life skills and hands-on project management experience that employers are looking for now more than ever.

Peace Corps volunteers may also be eligible for various forms of student loan relief, including deferment, partial Perkins Loan cancellation and Public Service Loan Forgiveness.

Peace Corps’ 2015 top volunteer-producing Hispanic-Serving Institutions are:

1. University of California, Santa Cruz (42 currently serving volunteers)

2. University of California, Santa Barbara (38 currently serving volunteers)

3. University of New Mexico (29 currently serving volunteers)

4. California State University, Long Beach (26 currently serving volunteers)

T5. Humboldt State University (25 currently serving volunteers)

T5. San Diego State University (25 currently serving volunteers)

Over the last year since Peace Corps’ announcement of historic recruitment reforms, the agency has expanded its reach to attract the best and brightest and field a volunteer force that reflects the rich diversity of the American people. In addition to hiring dedicated diversity recruiters and hosting diversity-focused recruitment events, the Peace Corps is partnering with diverse institutions so Americans of all backgrounds know about service opportunities.

The Peace Corps has eight regional recruitment offices across the country that work closely with prospective volunteers. The Southwest regional recruitment office serves the University of New Mexico. Peace Corps recruiters are based locally throughout the region. To find the recruitment office near you, visit the Peace Corps website. 

For more information about the Southwest regional office, visit the regional blogFacebook and Twitter pages.

* Rankings are calculated based on fiscal year 2014 data as of Sept. 30, 2014, as self-reported by Peace Corps volunteers.