MANSFIELD, PA—Molly Maroney, a 2014 Mansfield University graduate, is featured in a Peace Corp news release about the East Stroudsburg, PA area ranking among the Peace Corps’ top volunteer-producing metropolitan areas in 2016.
Maroney, who graduated with a Bachelor of Music degree, is serving as an agriculture volunteer in Tanzania. She grew up in Stroudsburg where her father is a professor at East Stroudsburg University.
“I certainly have to travel quite a bit further to get a decent cup of coffee, but my host family and community were so warm and welcoming that it made my transition a breeze,” Maroney said of her experience thus far. “Everyone went well out of their way to make sure I was safe and comfortable, so I can’t ask for too much more.”
According to the Peace Corp, Maroney is one of 10 volunteers from the Greater East Stroudsburg region (Monroe County) currently serving worldwide, giving it a ratio of six volunteers for every 100,000 residents. This year marks the first time that East Stroudsburg has appeared on the list.
“My community and I work very hard to find ways to better what they already know and what they already have,” Maroney said. “Making plans, designing effective projects, and following through with what we started are our main goals. Watching my friends in the village initiate their own personal projects and designing comprehensive and practical solutions to common issues has been an inspiration.”
Monroe County volunteers are among the more than 225,000 Americans who have served around the world as agriculture, community economic development, education, environment, health and youth in development volunteers since 1961. Since the Peace Corps was established, 8,224 Pennsylvanians have served overseas.
Pennsylvania ranks seventh among states with the highest number of Peace Corps volunteers, with 300 volunteers currently serving worldwide. In addition, the Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington region ranked eighth nationally among metropolitan areas with 154 residents serving in the Peace Corps.
To find out more about the Peace Corps and rankings, go to peacecorps.gov