Rich Webb, former VISIONS field director who established our program in Peru, is one of seven recipients of the  2010 National Awards for Citizen Diplomacy. Honorees are recognized “for their extraordinary work to increase American citizen engagement in international affairs and their outstanding contributions in fostering cross-cultural understanding.Through their efforts, these citizen diplomats are building a reservoir of sustainable goodwill among the citizens of the United States and other nations and are excellent examples of citizen diplomacy at work.”

From 1997 through 2000 Rich worked closely year round for VISIONS doing student and family outreach, programming and planning. He spent five summers leading VISIONS programs. When he joined VISIONS his expressed goal was to learn as much as possible about and experience a sound framework created for volunteering overseas for teens. He also said in his job interview with us that he dreamed of creating such a program in Peru, his country of birth, to which he remains closely tied. VISIONS Peru was launched in 1999.

Rich went on to become founder and President of ProPeru Service Corps for individual college students and university groups. The ProPeru model expanded to other countries and became ProWorld Service Corps which offers service and immersion, health care, education and youth development experiences in Peru, Belize, Mexico, India, Thailand, Ghana, and Brazil.

Rich notes that “during [his] time as a recruiter and field director for VISIONS he witnessed firsthand VISIONS’ model of utilizing teen volunteers to meet development needs of poverty stricken communities. This helped shape the vision and model upon which [Rich] first incorporated ProPeru Service Corps in 1998.”

In truth Rich has never really ‘left’ VISIONS. He remains a close friend and dear colleague. VISIONS groups have partnered for years with ProPeru in Urubamba to build cleaner burning stoves and water filtration systems for families in the Sacred Valley.

Read more about Rich and his accomplishments at the U.S. Center for Citizen Diplomacy website.

Congratulations, Rich. We’re proud of you for this deserved honor.

VISIONS in The New York Times