January 28, 2010

Underwood native returns from Bulgaria

By Alyssa Schafer, Editor

After spending two years immersed in a different culture, more than 5,000 miles from where he grew up, Kellen Utecht has returned to Underwood. Now, the 26-year-old is setting his sights on new adventures, while spreading the word about the wonderful experience he had as a member of the Peace Corps. For 27 months, Utecht worked as a business development volunteer in Sandanski, Bulgaria, where he used skills that he learned in North Dakota to help the community. "What I took away from this experience is the problems they face over there are the same as the problems we face here," he said. Like Underwood, Sandanski faces issues of outmigration and a lagging business sector. "It is a small community just trying to improve," Utecht said. One of the accomplishments Utecht is most proud of is his work promoting volunteerism in Sandanski.



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