West Chicago resident Matthew Konfirst has lived a lot of life in his 36 years. He graduated from the Berklee College of Music and researched climate change in Antarctica, first as a graduate student at Northern Illinois University, then as a postdoctoral researcher at Byrd Polar Research Center, Ohio State University. He organized fossils as a volunteer at the Field Museum in Chicago, and he worked as an 1890s farmer at a living history farm in West Chicago. For a time he was a professional musician, and his music is available on iTunes.
Now, a new adventure – and opportunity to make a difference – awaits. Konfirst has been accepted into the Peace Corps and will depart for Ukraine on Sept. 16 to begin training as an education volunteer. Konfirst will live and work in a community teaching conversational and content-based English to middle- and high-schoolers, as well as helping to train local teachers.
“The attraction of the Peace Corps is being immersed in a new culture and language, being taken out of our comfort zone, and being able to give back to the community that is hosting our experience,” Konfirst said. “At the same time we get to act as ambassadors for the United States and put a face on the people that our host country citizens may never have met in person.” Continue reading “West Chicago, Ill., resident begins Peace Corps service in Ukraine”