Preparations are well under way to build 10 new homes and plant 2,500 trees in La Florida, Peru, as the international hub of the 2012 Millard Fuller Legacy Build Sept. 1-8. But starting later this month, The Fuller Center for Housing’s headquarters will have an American keeping an eye on progress and serving as a liaison between headquarters and the leaders of the Fuller Center of Peru.
Kenny Henson, a student at Davidson College and a graduate of Brookstone School in Columbus, Ga., will spend most of his summer in Peru helping The Fuller Center prepare for the build … and shoring up his Spanish skills in the South American country.
“We’ve got a great opportunity here with Kenny Henson, who’s going to be traveling to Peru and helping us get ready for the Millard Fuller Legacy Build this fall,” Fuller Center President David Snell said. “He’s going to spend about six weeks down there and give all kinds of assistance in terms of logistical organization, volunteer issues, helping build some houses and get them ready to go and improve his Spanish.”
“I’d love to improve my Spanish,” Henson said. “I’m pretty good, but I’d love to be fluent.”
If Kenny’s name sounds familiar to those long associated with The Fuller Center for Housing, it’s because his father, Ken Henson Jr., was a long-time friend and associate of Fuller Center Millard Fuller.
“Ken Henson was one of the four founders of The Fuller Center for Housing along with Linda and Millard and myself,” Snell said. “He and Millard practiced some law together through the years. Millard and Ken’s father also practiced some law together. So Ken Henson has been a part of Millard’s life for many, many years and was very helpful in the early days of The Fuller Center getting us organized.”
“My father told me that if I was looking for a great summer experience, I can possibly work out or arrange with The Fuller Center for you to go to Peru and work with them,” Kenny Henson said.
He will be taking his LSAT next week as he follows in his father’s legal footsteps, and he’s also following in his father’s service footsteps.
“I just love helping people,” he said. “I’ve been to Panama with Habitat for Humanity when I was in high school, and that was a great experience. And I’m sure this will be even better. … With anyone who does service kinds of things, it’s somewhat selfish because it makes you feel good doing that and helping other people. From my father’s work with Habitat and The Fuller Center, I saw the philosophy of affordable housing and how that really affects people’s lives.”
And, he will have a story to share with his professors when he returns to Davidson in the fall.
I had a class in Latin American colonialization in the spring, so maybe I can get some brownie points with my professor and go to a couple of sites.”