KCEA Board of Directors
Audrey met John Keshe in 2005 while pursuing an undergraduate degree in Zoology at Michigan State University. During her degree Audrey worked as a research assistant for a project studying the behavior of wild spotted hyenas in Kenya. This position led to her travelling to work at the project’s research camp in Maasai Mara National Reserve where John Keshe also worked. John and his wife, Paris, ran a community organization that provided financial support, counseling and other resources for children, who wanted to attend secondary schools but came from families that did not support their continuing education. Many of the students supported by the organization were girls, because many rural families that could not send all of their children to school, preferred to educate sons rather than daughters.
Since completing her degree and work with Michigan State University, Audrey went on to attend to obtain her M.Sc in Fish and Wildlife Conservation at Virginia Tech, studying the response of shorebirds to military overflights, and other forms of human disturbance and habitat modifications. Audrey now works as a shorebird biologist in Delaware. Although her work has taken her away from Kenya, Audrey continues to feel devoted to assisting young men and women access a good education, and inspired by John’s devotion to improving his community.
Ashley, a business and technology consultant, learned of KCEA/MCESP through friends who had spent a number of years living in the Rift Valley working alongside community leaders like John Keshe. Since the start of her career Ashley has been passionate about mentoring young women and encouraging girls to pursue education and careers in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math). As she learned of the work John was doing to help young girls avoid early marriage and continue their education she quickly realized the impact that John and KCEA were making. Ashley joined John in Kenya over the summer of 2016 where she was able to see first hand the success of John’s work, the influence his work was making not only in the student’s lives but in their families and communities as well. Ashley was deeply moved by her interactions with the students, their teachers, and their families. When she returned from Kenya she knew that while she wasn’t able to support John and the students daily in person, she wanted to remain involved with the program as much as possible. Ashley now remains involved in with the KCEA overseeing the website and donor relations and looks forward to visiting John, MCESP members, and the sponsored students in 2017.
While visiting his daughter studying in Kenya in 2008, Stephen Shaw was fortunate to meet John Keshe. Steve was deeply impressed by John’s wisdom, his commitment and his effectiveness in improving his Maasai community, especially by championing education for Maasai girls (and simultaneously nurturing their personal development).
Stephen, a Harvard-educated physician who recently retired from a career running a medical research laboratory at the U.S National Institutes of Health, became progressively more involved in working with John over the ensuing years, and recently helped found KCEA to make it easier for anyone to share the joy of helping. In contrast to most foreign assistance which is a blunt tool in providing help, it makes him happy to assist truly inspired community leaders effectively promoting education in their community.
Aaron was introduced to John Keshe in January of 2009 when he was a candidate for the Water Coordinator position through a skype interview. That September, Aaron met John in person while visiting East Africa on a mission trip. Aaron has remained an active supporter of the KCEA and MCESP since, including 7 additional trips to Kenya to work alongside John.
Aaron remains inspired by John’s sincere heart and his desire to do whatever he can, however he can, to help others and lead them to Christ. Aaron works in Speedway Indiana as a full time firefighter for 21 years is blessed with a great job and a great family.
Maasai Community Education and Support Program
Local Community Organization that operates in partnership with the KCEA
John Ole Keshe - Founder
John and his wife Paris founded MCESP in 2002 after witnessing many bright young women unable to continue their studies and forced to marry at a young age.
Julie Kosikirr - Secretary
Julie is among the first graduates sponsored through the MCESP/KCEA and now works as the organization's secretary.