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The Peace Corps Fellows Program at WIU was recently presented with a plaque honoring the program’s accomplishments and highlighting the nearly $1.2 million dollars USDA-RD has awarded the program since 1998.
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WIU's Peace Corps Fellows Program Celebrates 25th Anniversary

November 8, 2019

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MACOMB, IL -- On Oct. 21, Dwight Reynolds, area director for USDA-RD, and Matt Harris, business programs specialist, presented Karen Mauldin-Curtis, director of WIU's Peace Corps Fellows (PCF) Program, with a plaque honoring the program's accomplishments and highlighting the nearly $1.2 million dollars USDA-RD has awarded the program since 1998.

The funds represent the long-term investment by USDA-RD, through its Rural Business Development Grant Program, in WIU's Peace Corps Fellows Program and the rural communities it serves.

The anniversary luncheon was held in the Lincoln Room of the University Union and special guests included: Billy Clow, WIU Interim Provost; Chris Merrett, director of the Illinois Institute for Rural Affairs (IIRA); Scott McFarland, executive director of the Serve Illinois Commission; and Macomb Mayor Mike Inman.

Clow thanked current and former students for their contributions to campus and community life and noted that Peace Corps Fellows embody WIU's core values and extend WIU's service and leadership across the state. Merrett acknowledged the many partners in the room, including WIU colleagues, community leaders, current Peace Corps Fellows and alumni of the program, for their commitment to this work.

The Peace Corps Fellows Program is a unit of the IIRA and an AmeriCorps State Program. Since 1994, it has been leading community building efforts with community leaders, local volunteers and small business owners. The holistic community development efforts have strengthened local relationships and led to enhanced economic development opportunities for new and existing businesses in host communities and their surrounding areas.

Peace Corps Fellows have completed more than 2,500 community projects; recruited close to 10,000 community volunteers and served in 101 rural communities and 28 counties in Illinois, resulting in the creation of more than 330 jobs in small communities across the state. USDA-Rural Development and the Serve Illinois Commission, through its funding of AmeriCorps State programs in Illinois, have been essential partners in the program's success, both as funding agencies and also as a technical resource to Fellows and the communities they serve.

For more information on the Peace Corps Fellows Program visit or contact KMC (Karen Mauldin-Curtis) at at (309) 298-2706.

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Office of University Relations