Peace Corps volunteers plan to help others while waiting out economy

While other upcoming college graduates pound the pavement looking for work, Mallory Savisaar will be teaching English for the Peace Corps somewhere in the Pacific islands. Where, specifically, she hasn't yet learned.

All my friends are highly stressed out now. They're moving back in with their parents because they can't find jobs," said Savisaar, 22, a California State University, Sacramento, sociology major who applied to the Peace Corps on a whim at a career fair on campus.

"They're thinking of staying in school because there are no jobs out there right now," she said. "It's hard economic times."

For most of the people attending the Peace Corps' Wednesday evening bon voyage party at the Sierra 2 Center, the lengthy application process started months before the recession took hold.

They gave a genuinely altruistic reason for their Peace Corps participation: They want to help others.

Even so, this bumper crop of 118 Sacramento-area applicants – including a record 19 people ages 50 and older – receives the added benefit of being able to wait out the economy during their 27-month assignments in far-flung overseas locales.

"Concerns over getting a job didn't play into my application process because I wanted to do this so much anyway," said Becca Niles, 31, a Sacramento State graduate student in recreation administration who will teach English in Moldova.

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