twenTY someone: Keaton “Kidist” Allen-Gessesse

Hometown: Chicago, Illinois

College: University of Michigan

Age: 24

Occupation: Youth development facilitator- Peace Corps Perú

1.  Describe your job in three words: Eye-opening, challenging, enriching.

2. Tell me about your work in Peru. I live in the small city of Nazca where I work with various organizations and develop projects to support the youth of the community.  On a typical day, I work in the schools, with the Red Cross, and a group of child laborers.

3. The best thing about America: The safety and security- physically, financially, psychologically.

4. The worst thing about America: The various forms of growing inequality that are making the US  less competitive in the world – economic, educational, racial, etc.

5. What have you learned about the world through traveling? Languages, cultures, histories, our unifying similarities, and intriguing differences.  Mainly, I’ve learned that travel is the best education we can receive.

6. Would you rather live for a week in the past or the future? Why? I would definitely live for a week in the future to see how humanity and the world have progressed in positive ways.  I would love to see the social and technological advancements that will be achieved in the next century.

7. Who had the biggest influence on your life? My mother. She is the most passionate person I know and she has showed us the importance of doing work that we love that will hopefully leave some sort of positive impact on the world.

8. What do you do for fun? Read, travel, photography, explore, but I especially love just spending time with friends and family, even if we’re doing nothing but enjoying each others’ company.

9. Your biggest regret? Don’t have any, all experiences (positive and negative) help shape who we become.  One of my favorite quotes, “I don’t regret not regretting regrets.”

10. In ten years you will be…Living in some new part of the globe, doing work that I love, possibly starting a family, and as always, still learning and exploring.

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