Missoula Leads Nation In Peace Corps Volunteerism
New information out of the Peace Corps shows that the state of Montana ranks third among top volunteer-producing states per capita and Missoula ranks first. President of the Western Montana Return Peace Core Volunteer Group Dennis Bangs explains.
"The University of Montana has always had pretty high participation of volunteer and the whole state of Montana has ranked up there pretty high too," said Bangs. "This year, Missoula was ranked number one in the country for volunteers that signed up per capita."
Bangs volunteered for the Peace Corps in 1970 in Ecuador and he says that was really special for a farm boy from Montana.
"I was a small town, not even a small town, I came from a farm in Montana and had a hard time really imagining seeing things outside of Montana," Bangs said. "The experience really opened up the whole world to me and understanding other people and the way they saw the world. It was really quite a seminal point in my life."
Out of every 100,000 residents, 12.3 people in Missoula and 5 people in Montana volunteer with the Peace Corps. A listing of the 2016 top states and metropolitan areas can be found here.