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updated: 2/28/2013 7:57 PM

Schaumburg grad shares his heart with St. Lucia community while on overseas service trip

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  • Kohsei painting a school in the community of St. Lucia

    Kohsei painting a school in the community of St. Lucia
    Myoyeon Yu

Kohsei Yoshimune

(Hoffman Estates, IL) -- Kohsei Yoshimune, 19, of Hoffman Estates, Illinois returned from his 21 days of overseas service work in the Caribbean country of St. Lucia. Mr. Yoshimune was a volunteer with Generation Peace Academy, which is a program of the Unification Church. In Argentina, Generation Peace Academy worked with several different partners and non-profit organizations on construction, renovation, and beautification projects. Projects in the Buenos Aires region included restoration of a swimming pool and the walls of a monastery, repairing and painting a soup kitchen, which offers free meals to children in a the community of Lobos, partnering with the Rotary Club in Ciudad Evita in order to beautify a local park as well as to learn about sustainable planting, irrigation, and vermiculture. In the Santa Fe region, home of the indigenous Mocovi tribe, blueprints and material were donated to construct several dome structures. These large domes would be used as homes for some of the Native American families, who previously lived in very simple, impoverished conditions. The final project involved renovation at an evangelical church in Tigre and interfaith activities with the local Christian group.

Mr. Yoshimune graduated from Schaumburg high school in 2012. In high school, he was in cross country and track and field. Mr. Yoshimune was preparing for college but decided he needed to create a solid foundation in his values and beliefs before attending college. He changed his plans and joined Generation Peace Academy, because he felt a strong desire to become a person capable of helping others. This is his first year on the program and he has already learned valuable life lessons through his experiences.

Mr. Yoshimune felt so inspired after his experiences overseas saying, "I alone can't make a big difference, but I learned that I can inspire others through my service to help in creating that bigger difference and change that I want to accomplish."

Mr. Yoshimune felt so grateful for his parents, family, friends back home, and friends in GPA that supported him. He goes on to say, "I can never thank enough for all God has blessed me with, a loving family with 2 brothers, a community which takes me as their own, and friends who I have shared experiences for many years, so all I can really do is offer that love back to this world and see this world as one big family."