Matthew S. Costa, 24, formerly of Cheshire, died on Sunday in the western African nation of Mali. Matt was a 1999 graduate of Cheshire High School, and a 2003 graduate of Tulane University with a B.A. degree in Philosophy. He joined the Peace Corps in 2003, and he spent two years in Chad in central Africa. In 2005, he extended his service to Mali. He was fluent in French, and he spoke some of the native Arabic languages of Chad and Mali. Matt always perceived the world in a global sense, and he had a great desire to help those less fortunate, which is what led him to the Peace Corps. For his primary assignment, Matt taught high school English in Chad and organized training for other teachers in the community. In addition, he introduced a millet grinder to the community of Kita, Mali, trained 15 men in pump maintenance, educated youth about AIDS prevention, and taught English at a local school. Matt was known in his Malian community as the host of a popular local radio show featuring American music, and he also worked to improve the radio station’s marketing strategy. Matt was also part of the community’s local soccer team and was known for distributing donations of sporting equipment in both Chad and Mali. Matt and three other volunteers had built a boat and they were navigating on a Niger River inlet when he and another volunteer were electrocuted. He had planned to return to the United States and attend law school in the fall of 2007 where he was going to pursue a career in international law. Matt touched and helped so many people in his short life. Those close to him are heartbroken over his tragic and untimely loss, but will carry a part of him with us and will never forget his quiet intelligence, sense of humor, adventuresome spirit, unselfishness, and his love of life. He is survived by his mother, Pamela Cameron and stepfather, George Cameron, both of Farmington; his father, Frank Costa, of Wallingford; his sister Danielle Costa, of Wallingford; his paternal grandparents Frank and Biondina Costa; his maternal grandfather and stepgrandmother, Bernard and Dorothy Levin of Columbia, MD; his uncle and aunt Michael and Maureen Levin of Strafford, PA, his cousins Andrew and Sam Levin also of Strafford; his great aunts and uncle, Mal and Phyllis Spiegel of New Haven, and Gussie Levin and Bobbie Knott of New York City; and many other relatives and friends. He was predeceased by his maternal grandmother, Coralie Levin. Matt’s funeral will be held in the Chapel of the Weinstein Mortuary, 640 Farmington Avenue, Hartford, at 2:30 p.m. this Sunday, September 10th. Burial will be private. There will be a reception following at the Farmington Marriott, 15 Farm Springs Road, Farmington. In lieu of flowers, donations in Matt’s memory will be handled through Rogin, Nassau, Caplan, Lassman & Hirtle, ATTN: Paul Zolan, 185 Asylum Street, CityPlace I, 22nd Floor, Hartford, CT 06103-3460 and donated later in Matt’s memory to a charity chosen by his family. Please indicate “in memory of Matthew Costa” on your donation. For further information, directions or to share memories of Matt with his family, please visit online at www.weinsteinmortuary.com.