Ground breaking, early 1964 for the elementary school in San Martin de Porras "barriada", a squatter settlement and suburb of Lima, Peru. M. Roth with Peruvian dignitaries, barriada residents, priests and children are in the photo. We buried a time capsule, a bottle with a signed notice of the event. By 2010 almost 15,000 children/years have been spent in this school. Prior to this there were only classes for a limited number of children at the local church.

Current photo of Michael Roth

Name: Michael Roth
U-M Affiliation: Alumni

Where do you work?

Michael Roth and Associates, Architects and Planners. 200 S. Hanley, Ste. 1105, Clayton, Missouri

When did you serve in the Peace Corps?

1962-64 and 1970

Where did you serve (which country/countries)?

Peru. Also from 1965-67 served, but not in Peace Corps, in Ghana.

What were your main responsibilities as a volunteer?

Architect and urban community development worker

Is there a specific person (or persons) who made a strong impression on you during that time?

John Turner, a development consultant, from the U.K.

What was one of the most memorable moments you had as a volunteer?

The ground breaking ceremony for an elementary school I designed and for which I helped raise the money to finance its construction.

In what ways did your Peace Corps experience affect your life and/or career decisions?

Redefined the meaning of my life. Filled the time vaccuum of how I would spend life and gave meaning to how I could use my profession constructively and purposefully

In what ways did your U-M education, both inside and outside the classroom, prepare you for your Peace Corps experience?

It fostered critical thinking, questioning and self analysis.

What advice would you give to others who are contemplating going into the Peace Corps?

Have a love of and dedication to something. Self respect. Open mindedness. Enjoy people. Learn a second language. Be flexible.

What is the value gained from the Peace Corps experience?

The direction of my life's broad interests and my approach to my own professional work. My appreciation for and involvement in public issues and helping make the world more understandable and a better place to live.

What lessons did you learn in the Peace Corps that you carry with you today?

Interests in other cultures especially those in developing countries; the arts from places I have lived (especially Africa); learning and speaking a second language; patience especially with those from other cultures and a hope that others will be able to have the same type of experience I had.

Is there anything else you'd like to add?

Best experience of my life, especially until that point. After securing a graduate architecture degree, I served in a U.N. program in Kumasi, Ghana for two yearsfrom '65-'67. Have collected African art for 45 years, and appreciate having a second language. Michigan was the catalyst for this and the Kennedy and his inaugural speech lit the fire in me, which thankfully is still burning.

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