Year Joined MKLM: 2017
Focus: Health, Education
Project: LaValla School – Physiotherapy Team
Population Served: Children and youth
Description: physical therapy
Providing education and care for children and young people with physical disabilities.
Kylene is part of the physiotherapy team at the LaValla School. LaValla is the only school in Cambodia offering a full primary education to children and young people with a physical disability. The majority of students attending LaValla are years behind in their education due to neglect in their villages and denied access to education.
LaValla’s physiotherapy team works together to provide students with thorough medical care, including personalized physiotherapy specific to their disability, hydrotherapy, referrals and maintenance of assistive devices (wheelchairs, prosthetics and orthotics, etc).
Kylene assists in providing assessments and implementing students’ treatment plans. Additionally, she is one of the team members that accompanies the students to outside activities such as weekly visits to the rehabilitation centers in Phnom Penh, medical appointments and special events including International Day for People with Disabilities.
On weekends, you’ll find Kylene helping out with the religious education program for the English-speaking community and tagging along with Maryknoll Father Kevin Conroy to the Vietnamese villages for Mass on Sundays.
Kylene has a bachelor of science in exercise physiology from the College of St. Scholastica in Duluth, Minnesota. She served with Americorps in Sitka, Alaska, which led to an Americorps position working in wellness programs at Women’s Hearth, a women’s homeless drop-in center in Spokane, Washington. She also volunteered with a hospital neonatal intensive care unit and a men’s transitional living center. Kylene hails from the small town of Brookston, Minnesota, but considers her home parish to be St. Ann’s in Spokane, where she helped with youth ministry.
Kylene jokes that she has always wanted to become, in her words, a professional volunteer. While at Women’s Hearth, she worked to deliver non-profit wellness programming and volunteer management. She came to Maryknoll Lay Missioners through a co-worker who was a Maryknoll Affiliate. Kylene felt her values fit very well with those of MKLM and decided to look into becoming a lay missioner. She sees mission as an opportunity to work alongside people of different religions and cultural traditions in an effort to build a world of justice, peace and understanding.