This is Kenny. Nice to meet you!

Truth to be told, as an Economics major, I once aspired to become an investment banker on Wall Street, but my real-life experience has reshaped me to become a social entrepreneur and conflict resolution practitioner. During 2014 and 2016, I took a leave of absence from college and worked at NGOs in Venezuela, Thailand, Costa Rica, and most recently Ghana. My two-year hands-on exposure in the nonprofit sector includes program management, advocacy, stakeholder involvement, social entrepreneurship, and change management. In each country, I designed and conducted projects with intercultural strategies in order to develop a more sustainable solution to the pressing problems.Particularly, the interaction with marginalized youth in the slums of Venezuela made me realize that poverty, joblessness and economic stress are often the fuel for gang violence and civil conflict.

Therefore, through SPP, I hope to gain a better understanding of contemporary conflict resolution techniques that may involve economic intervention and learn how to attack the roots of violence in a given country/community, which may have become deeply embedded over time. I understand that it is a complex exercise that even practitioners with deep local knowledge can find intimidating if not overwhelming, but my passion and effort can be contagious, and my suggestions can be blueprints for future actions. To the SPP, I will bring a perspective grounded in democracy, multiculturalism, development, and youth empowerment through my personal experiences, and many stories to share with my peers about my life, research, and interests.

P.S. I am a Christian, but I went to Thailand and lived with monks in the mountain for 3 months, learning Buddhist philosophies, mediation, and their ways to approach world peace.