Jayhawk finds fulfillment in Peace Corps

Posted on Sep 25, 2013 in Alumni News and News

Most students probably don’t expect to live in a mud brick house with no electricity after graduation, but that’s exactly what Brooks Perry, d’10, did for 27 months.

Brooks, a kinesiology major originally from Buhler, joined the Peace Corps after graduation and served in sub-Saharan Africa. He lived in a rural Zambian village where he helped alleviate health problems by distributing mosquito nets, water treatment plans, administering health surveys and maternal health initiatives.

“It truly taught me patience, the power of a shower and how to laugh about life!” Brooks says of the experience, adding that he recommends to anyone considering living in the third world to do it. “It truly is an adventure.”

Currently, Brooks is an educator at a therapeutic boarding school in Idaho for teenagers with substance abuse and behavior issues. He helps organize the adventure education program and teaches health and physical education.

Why did you decide to attend KU?
I decided to attend KU after going to the University of Arkansas for a year.   My heart was telling me that I would be happiest at KU. Life is about experience and KU is 100 percent genuine experience. I grew up a KU fan and knew what the school had to offer; I knew it would be the place where I would be most comfortable and positive.

What’s your favorite memory of KU?
Storming Massachusetts Street after winning the 2008 national championship in basketball. My hands still hurt from giving too many high-fives that night.

What groups or activities were you involved with at KU?
I was involved with Navigators, Habitat for Humanity, Kansas Kids Fitness Days and intramural sports.

What’s your favorite thing about Lawrence?
The energy that consumes the whole town. It feels like the entire community is simply an extension of the campus. Lawrence citizens are very accommodating of the students and help ensure their well-being and success. Lawrence has a smaller feel to it; however it has some of the best things the world has to offer– prime dining, great nightlife and pretty rocking musicians.

What advice would you give to incoming students?
Take it all in stride. It will go by in a flash, so live in the moment. The future can wait. While in school focus on the beauty of the day-to-day. It is a pretty special experience at the University of Kansas.

Jayhawks Around the World, 2013 KU Homecoming | www.kualumni.orgThis year’s Homecoming theme, Jayhawks Around the World, celebrates the University’s global reach in terms of international students and faculty, research discoveries that change the world and the achievements of KU alumni, who live in 150 countries around the globe. Visit www.kualumni.org/homecoming for a schedule of events and to learn more about KU’s Homecoming tradition.

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