May 18, 2004: Headlines: COS - Bolivia: The Chelsea Standard: Matthew Kennedy serves with Peace Corps in Bolivia

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Bolivia: Peace Corps Bolivia : The Peace Corps in Bolivia: May 18, 2004: Headlines: COS - Bolivia: The Chelsea Standard: Matthew Kennedy serves with Peace Corps in Bolivia

By Admin1 (admin) (pool-151-196-115-42.balt.east.verizon.net - 151.196.115.42) on Wednesday, May 19, 2004 - 4:57 pm: Edit Post

Matthew Kennedy serves with Peace Corps in Bolivia

Matthew Kennedy serves with Peace Corps in Bolivia

Matthew Kennedy serves with Peace Corps in Bolivia

Kennedy serves with Peace Corps in Bolivia

By Sheila Pursglove, Associate Editor

Matthew Kennedy, the son of Tom and Debbie Kennedy of Sylvan Township, will spend the next two years serving in the Peace Corps in Bolivia.

"I wanted to have some stories to tell my kids some day," he said.

And stories he will surely have, spending two years as a basic sanitation volunteer, designing and constructing safe water systems, latrines and garbage disposal systems.

Kennedy, who left the United States for 11 weeks of training May 3, also will prepare and present funding proposals to support this work and will train Bolivians so the work will continue when he leaves.

Kennedy, a 1998 graduate of Chelsea High School, earned a bachelorís degree in physics from the University of Michigan in 2002.

"The idea of beginning a career doesnít appeal to me at this point in my life," he said. "I never saw myself sitting at a desk trying to make as much money as possible.

"The Peace Corps is giving me the opportunity to not only avoid the rat race, but to experience a completely different way of life and help out a lot of people at the same time."

During his first few weeks in Bolivia, Kennedy will undergo intensive language, technical, safety and cultural training, and will be assessed by Peace Corps staff for the most suitable placement.

"Due to my past experience with irrigation and plumbing, most likely I will be working more on the technical side on designing and building safe drinking water systems, as well as latrines," he said.

"Over the course of my two-year stay in Bolivia, I could be working with one community or many in order to train Bolivians to build and maintain these systems."

Kennedy is joining more than 7,000 Peace Corps volunteers who are serving in 77 countries. Volunteers work to bring clean water to communities, teach children, help start new small businesses, and stop the spread of AIDS. Since President John F. Kennedy founded the Peace Corps in 1961, more than 155,000 American have served in 134 nations.

Kennedy will accrue two vacation days each month and plans to spend time exploring South America. His parents are planning to join him next summer for some travel.

"While my family may or may not understand my desire to volunteer with the Peace Corps, they have definitely been very supportive of me and my decision," Kennedy said.

"Iíd like to thank everyone for this support, especially my mom and dad, as it has meant a great deal to me."




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Story Source: The Chelsea Standard

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; COS - Bolivia

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