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Dexter native heading to Kenya as Peace Corps volunteer

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DEXTER — Christopher R. McKinney, 22, will depart next month for Kenya, where he hopes to make a difference in people’s lives through the Peace Corps.

Mr. McKinney, son of Gary and Joanne McKinney, Dexter, leaves for Kenya on Nov. 11 to begin training as an education volunteer. He will live and work in a community to teach secondary school science.

“I want my career to be focused around changing people’s lives in a direct and positive way, and I have developed an interest in developing world technologies,” Mr. McKinney said in a news release. “I have also always wanted to see how the rest of the world lives, and to experience and understand other cultures.”

He said Peace Corps offers him the “perfect chance to combine these interests, grow personally, and make a clear and positive impact in others’ lives.”

Mr. McKinney graduated from General Brown High School in 2009. He then attended Clarkson University, Potsdam, where he earned a bachelor of science degree in chemical engineering and physics in 2013.

“Clarkson gave me the knowledge and skills to teach in the Peace Corps,” he said. “I learned a great deal, and had lots of opportunities to lead, teach others, and work in teams.”

During the first three months of his service, Mr. McKinney will live with a host family in Kenya to become immersed in the country’s language and culture. After acquiring the language and cultural skills necessary to assist his community, he will be sworn into service and be assigned to a community in Kenya, where he will live and work for two years with the locals.

“I hope to be able to expand and share opportunities with those who have traditionally had very few,’ Mr. McKinney said. “Personally, I hope to learn to live happily in a new culture, facing challenges that I would not otherwise encounter in the U.S. Professionally, I hope that my Peace Corps experience will open doors for future work in developing world technology and sustainability, both internationally and in the U.S.”

Mr. McKinney joins the 448 New York residents serving in the Peace Corps and more than 12,863 New York residents who have served in the Peace Corps since 1961.

About Peace Corps in Kenya: More than 5,090 Peace Corps volunteers have served in Kenya since the program was established in 1964. There are now 123 Peace Corps volunteers serving in Kenya. Volunteers work in the areas of business, deaf education, math and science education, health, community economic development and water sanitation. They work in the following languages: Kalenjin, Kenyan sign language, Kikuyu, Kiswahili, Luo and Luyha.

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