Monday, May 13, 2013

Description of Peace Corps Service

At the end of all Peace Corps Volunteers service we're required to submit a "DOS" which basically summaries everything we've done over the past two years for both PC record and for future job prospects. It's weird that's it's all down on paper - I hope it looks impressive...

 Matthew Brady 

Ukraine | March 2011 – June 2013

After a competitive application process emphasizing professional skills, motivation, adaptability, cross-cultural understanding and medical fitness, Peace Corps invited Mr. Matthew Brady to serve as a Youth Development Volunteer in Ukraine.

Pre-service training

On March 23, 2011, Mr. Brady joined the 41st group of Peace Corps Volunteers to serve in Ukraine. He entered an intensive 11-week community-based training program.

Training program included –
·       200 hours of Ukrainian language instruction and field-trips
·       80 hours of technical training on youth policy and youth development in Ukraine, including eight weeks of classroom observation, teaching and summer youth camp practice
·       30 hours of area studies (history, economics and cultural norms)
·       20 hours of personal health and safety training
·       8 hours of HIV/AIDS education (how to incorporate within the English classroom)

To reinforce language and cross-cultural learning, Mr. Brady lived with a Ukrainian family in the town of Kozelets, Chernihiv Region throughout training.

In preparation for his Peace Corps service, while a trainee, Mr. Brady worked at Kozelets School I-III.  While at Kozelets School I-III, Mr. Brady taught English and Healthy Lifestyle classes as well as planned a summer camp, emphasizing on sports, teamwork, nutrition, and exercise. In collaboration with four other trainees, Mr. Brady organized and held a fundraising event to provide trainings on volunteerism and community activism to secondary school students in Kozelets School I-III while also providing new musical instruments and new school resources to the local school for disabled children.


U.S. Ambassador John F. Tefft. swore in Mr. Brady as a Peace Corps Volunteer on June 16, 2011 in Kyiv, Ukraine.

Mr. Brady was assigned to Harkushyntsi, Poltava region, a village community of around 1,200 Ukrainian and Russian speakers in central Ukraine. He worked as a youth development volunteer at Harkushyntsi Specialized School I-III, which served a student body of 120 and 28 faculty members. Harkushyntsi Specialized School I-III is located in the Myrhorod district, and the school’s U.S. equivalent in elementary, middle, and high school.
Mr. Brady worked under the supervising authority of the Ministry of Youth and Sports of Ukraine as represented by his job supervisors, school Principal Ivan Vitenko and English teacher Yulia Karpenko. The school year began each year on September 1 and ended on the last Friday of May. There were approximately 140 school days in each school year and Mr. Brady worked on approximately 120 of them.

Harkushyntsi Specialized School I-III Projects & Seminars  –
·       Mr. Brady taught between 15 – 17 hours of formal lessons each semester in English, Biology/Healthy Lifestyles, and Physical Education as follows:

2011-2012 School Year
1st grade               1 hour/week
2nd grade              1 hour/week
4th grade              1 hour /week
5th grade              5 hours/week
7th grade              3 hours/week
8th grade              2 hours/week
9th grade              1 hour/week
11th grade             1 hour/week

2012-2013 School Year
1st grade               1 hour/week
2nd grade              1 hour/week
4th grade              1 hour /week
5th grade              2 hours/week
6th grade              3 hours/week
7th grade              3 hours/week
8th grade              1 hours/week
9th grade              2 hour/week
10th grade             2 hours/week
11th grade             1 hour/week

·       Volunteerism/Values in America & Peace Corps seminar
o   Myrhorod district teachers conference (August 2011)
o   Myrhorod district teachers of ethics (December 2011)
·       Olympiad training (September 2011)
o   Olympiad is a yearly national competition in a variety of school subject matters
o   Mr. Brady held specialized trainings for higher level English speaking students who participated in this competition
o   Trainings focused on English reading/pronunciation, conversational speaking, and writing
·       FLEX training (October 2011)
o   FLEX is a study abroad program for 8th – 10th grade Ukrainians to live in the United States for one full school year
o   Mr. Brady planned and held practice sessions for interested students that led up until the testing held in the regional center, Poltava
·       Pen Pal Letter/Cultural Exchange (2012-2013)
o   Organized correspondences between American and Ukrainian students from   1st – 5th grade
·       Darien Book Aid (February 2012)
o   Filed for and received free English literature at varying reading levels
·       International Volunteerism Day (5 December 2012)
o   Designed and conducted a one day volunteerism seminar, in Ukrainian language, discussing why people volunteer, what they do, and the differences between volunteerism in America and Ukraine to both school faculty and students
·       English Day Camps – the following were the topics covered in one day camps conducted with the assistance of fellow Peace Corps volunteers
o   Leadership/project design and management (28 January 2012)
o   Health/nutrition/exercise (24 February 2012)
o   Ecology/environmental protection (26 April 2012)
o   Human rights (8 May 2012)
o   Career planning (26 April 2013)

Clubs –
·       Mr. Brady coordinated and organized clubs for varying age demographics as follows:

2011-2012 School Year
5th  – 11th grade    2 hour/week    Topic based vocabulary practice, English games
5th – 7th grade       2 hour/week    English games, sentence construction, art
8th – 11th grade     2 hour /week   Music translation, English TV, Conversation practice

2012-2013 School Year
5th  – 11th grade    3 hour/week    Country Study, Newspaper, and English Movie/Music
8th – 11th grade     3 hour /week   Running and Sports

Secondary Organization Projects & Seminars –
·       Naturalist Station (2011-2013) – with the help of this government funded ecological/healthy lifestyle organization, Mr. Brady was able to expand his student audience by visiting village communities throughout Myrhorod district to teach, in Ukrainian language, a variety of topics
o   Conducted 5 Smoking/Alcohol seminars
o   Conducted 3 Health/Nutrition seminars
o   Conducted 10 American youth/culture seminars
o   Regional Naturalist Station training on HIV/AIDS and American youth organizations
·       Harkushyntsi Kindergarten (2011-2013)
o   TEFL – 2 hours/week to 8 to 12 kindergartners
o   Collaborated on two media presentations showcasing the activities and lessons provided at the Harkushyntsi Kindergarten
·       Myrhorod Kindergarten (2011)
o   TEFL – 2 hours/week to 30 to 45 kindergartners

In-Service Training –
·       Volunteerism in Ukraine (16-19 August 2011)
o   Attended with job supervisor Yulia Karpenko
o   Trainings on project design and management
·       Peace Corps Language Refresher (17-20 January 2012)
·       PEPFAR (6-10 February 2012) (4-8 February 2013)
o   In 2012, Mr. Brady attended as a participant with job supervisor Yulia Karpenko
o   In 2013, Mr. Brady was invited to be the HIV/AIDS English Trainer to fellow PCVs for the conference

Grants –
·       PEPFAR grant ($502) (December 2011 – December 2012)
o   Worked in conjunction with the Naturalist Station from Myrhorod district
o   Organized HIV Training of Trainers of 20 administrative representatives and health teachers from varying schools in Myrhorod district
o   Organized HIV trainings, in Ukrainian language, on HIV biology, transmission, and stigma and discrimination for a total of 295 8th 11th grade students from 10 village schools throughout Myrhorod district
o   A grant funded and student made art instillation focusing on what participating schools had learned about HIV/AIDS was put up on display in Myrhorod for World AIDS Day (1 December 2012)
·       Media and English Resource Center ($1928.11) (September 2012 – March 2013)
o   In corporation with Harkushyntsi Specialized School I-III, Mr. Brady received a Peace Corps partnership grant which went to upgrading English resources along with purchasing new media technology
§  64 new English textbooks
§  Installation of Wi-Fi, video projector, projecting screen, and printer
o   Mr. Brady conducted teacher trainings on how to utilize the new technology/resources into their lessons
·       Healthy Lifestyles Working Group Mini-grant ($50) (14 October 2012)
o   Students from 2nd 10th grades along with and their parents from Harkushyntsi Specialized School I-III participated in a family based competition to promote healthy fitness, exercise, as well as the importance of communication

Camps –
·       Camp HEAL (1-8 July 2011) (4-12 July 2012)
o   2011 – camp counselor and photographer
o   2012 – photographer, head teacher of HIV biology, transmission, prevention, stigma and discrimination, and public speaking
§  Attended by Mr. Brady’s job supervisor Yulia Karpenko and students from Harkushyntsi Specialized School I-III
·       Camp LEAD (20-25 August 2011) (19-24 August 2012)
o   Team leader and head teacher
·       Poltava Youth Leadership Conference Mini-Camp (7-9 October 2011)
o   Assisted young adult Ukrainian counselors in teaching Ukrainian youth about leadership, fundraising, and project design and management
o   Photographer
·       Baseball Camp (10-15 June 2012)
o   Team captain and facilitator to teach/share the American sport of baseball
·       Mini-Camp HEAL (27-29 October 2012)
o   Team leader, photographer, and head teacher of HIV biology and transmission

Extracurricular Activities –
·       Training Advisory Group – Mr. Brady was the youth development representative for Peace Corps service group 41
o   Conducted/reported survey information that went into restructuring the youth development framework for future volunteers of Ukraine
o   Peace Corps group 43 arrival retreat representative/presenter
·       Healthy lifestyles Working Group – cochairman of the projects subcommittee
·       HIV/AIDS Working Group – active member of the camps and resources subcommittees

Throughout his service, Mr. Brady actively worked to improve his language proficiency through integrating into his hosting families/community as well as working with a tutor in Ukrainian and Russian languages throughout his service. Under the parameters of Peace Corps’ language examinations, Mr. Brady ended his service with an Advanced Medium score in Ukrainian language.

Following Ukraine's Declaration of Independence in 1991 and its decision to become an independent democratic country, a bilateral agreement was signed by US and Ukrainian Presidents to establish a U.S. Peace Corps Program in Ukraine in 1992. Since then, US Peace Corps Volunteers have been serving in Ukraine in the areas of business development, education, environmental protection, youth development, and community development. Mr. Matthew Brady’s work as a Youth Development Volunteer, as well as his role as a representative of the people, culture, values and traditions of the United States of America, was part of a nation-wide development effort in Ukraine.

Mr. Matthew Brady completed his Peace Corps service in Ukraine on June 5, 2013.

Pursuant to § 5(f) of the Peace Corps Act, 22 USC 2504(f), as amended, any former Volunteer employed by the United States Government following his Peace Corps Volunteer Service is entitled to have any period of satisfactory Peace Corps service credited for purposes of retirement, seniority, reduction in force, leave, and other privileges based on length of Government service.  That service shall not be credited toward completion of the probationary or trial period of any service requirement for career appointment.

This is to certify in accordance with Executive Order 11103 of April 10, 1963, that Mr. Matthew Brady served successfully as a Peace Corps Volunteer.  His service ended on June 5, 2013. He is therefore eligible to be appointed as a career-conditional employee in the competitive civil service on a non-competitive basis.  This benefit under the Executive Order extends for a period of one year after termination of Volunteer service, except that the employing agency may extend the period for up to three years for a former Volunteer who enters military service, pursues studies at a recognized institution of higher learning, or engages in other activities that, in the view of the appointing agency, warrant extension of the period.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

hello... is anyone still listening?

so i'm finally trying to do a update on life some 7 months later after my most recent relevant post. i figured a video might be more time conscious than a overly long essay filled with grammatical and spelling inaccuracies. So anyways, here is Part I.

pictures and Part II to come...

Thursday, August 02, 2012

So my birthday is commin' up...

I know a burning question in all y'alls minds right now is, "what to get Mr. Matt for his birthday?", well I have a potential answer that'll make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside to boot.

I'm currently fundraising for a grant project I've started for my community. In a nutshell, it's to ideally create a new English textbook and resource center as well as updated needed technology in my small school.

My project can be found through the Peace Corps Donation page and seraching for my project code:


Literally any bit you can donate will help towards realizing this project. Not to mention donations can be tax-deductable.

If you have any further qusetions, feel free to let me know via email and I'll try to get back to you in a timely fashion. Feel free to share this with friends or family that you feel might be interested in also supporting my community.

Here are some of the kids you'd be assisting for most of their public education!

Again, thanks for your support!