MONTPELIER, Vt. — Vermont is continuing to lead the nation as the top per-capita producer of Peace Corps volunteers, with New Hampshire fourth and Maine eighth, Peace Corps officials announced Wednesday.

Only the District of Columbia has a higher ranking in the production of volunteers.

The Peace Corps’ Northeast Regional office manager Brian Melman said more than 1,500 people from the Northeast are serving overseas.

“The Northeast has a culture of involvement and community engagement, so we are always well represented in Peace Corps service worldwide,” said Melman. “This year, more than 1,500 residents of the Northeast region are serving overseas, gaining leadership skills and tangible benefits while making a difference for those in need. “

The Peace Corps defines service as “a life-defining leadership experience for Americans who are prepared for the challenge of public service overseas.”

Since the Peace Corps was created in 1961, 1,453 Vermonters have served as volunteers across the world.

Currently there are more than 8,000 Peace Corps volunteers in 76 countries with volunteers working in development programs as varied as HIV-AIDS education or information technology.

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