World Leadership

Kennedy and the Peace Corps

“Ask not what your country can do for you: ask what you can do for your country.” With these inspiring words, John F. Kennedy launched the Peace Corps in 1961. Since then, over 150,000 Americans have brought skills, life-saving technological improvements – and a goodwill message of generosity and optimism to poor countries around the world. Harris Wofford tells the little-known story of how it began when Kennedy, on the campaign trail, spontaneously asked a group of college students if they would give a few years of their life to help others in underdeveloped parts of the world. The students’ response was so overwhelmingly positive, and their energy so contagious, that it galvanized the newly elected President into action. His campaign promise to create a corps of young men and women who “could work miracles for peace,” has been coming true ever since.

Skills: Giving, Patriotism, Determination, Enthusiasm, Courage, Global Perspectives