Soon-to-Be Merrimack Grad Heading to Colombia After Commencement

After graduation, Kenney Tran '18 won't be sitting behind a desk in an office, but instead will head to another continent - the trenches of Colombia, South America to serve as a business volunteer teaching in high school and working with nonprofits near Bogota.

Tran, a political science and social justice major with minors in business administration and communication and media studies, has been formally committed to the Peace Corps for almost a year, which encouraged him to graduate a year early from Merrimack. He will begin service in June 2018 and will conclude in August of 2020.

“My experience at Merrimack definitely shaped my decision to serve in the Peace Corps,” said Tran. “Doing five service experiences, I saw the world in a different light, and following Merrimack’s mission to enlighten minds, engage hearts, and empower lives, I wanted to do something to empower the lives of others,” said Tran. “After my fourth service immersion trip to Diriamba, Nicaragua, I felt an urge to go out and continue doing work that would benefit others. Having this international experience under my belt, I was ready to do anything. Tran’s service trips also brought him to Washington, D.C., West Virginia, and New Jersey, and he also served as a student leader on an alternative winter break.

While at Merrimack, Tran has been involved in almost 20 student organizations including serving as an Orientation Leader, a Merrimack College Ambassador, as well as a Residential Advisor. “I absolutely loved my time here at Merrimack, pushing myself to be involved in extracurricular activities while focusing on academics was a challenging, yet very rewarding experience. In three short years, I’ve completely changed as a person, student, and leader. Handing in my deposit on April 29th, 2015 was the best decision I’ve ever made in my life, and it’s led me to a more rewarding life and future that I ever thought would be possible.”

After his time with the Peace Corps, Tran plans to attend graduate school to pursue a master’s in public administration which will support his goal to work for the government or a nonprofit, and someday running his own nonprofit organization or holding a public service position.