Hometown: Rochester. Originally from Seoul, Korea
Staff Position: Academic Exploration Coordinator and Administrative Assistant, Humanities and General Education
I was abandoned in the Dongdaemun neighborhood of Seoul, Korea when I was 2. Just a couple of years ago I returned to visit Seoul and met the pediatrician, Dr. Cho, that was at the orphanage when I was. From her, I learned that there was great poverty throughout Korea when I was a baby. At my orphanage, there were about 300 babies sharing 80 or so cribs with only 3 to 4 workers. The workers spent much of their time just monitoring the cribs and propping up bottles. The pediatrician often spent an entire day just filling out death certificates. My health records showed that I had Ascaris worms, lice, was malnourished, weak and very shy. By God’s grace, I was adopted by a family from Rochester, just a mile from Roberts. How blessed I was to have a loving family, community, and to learn of God’s love. Visiting Korea recently only intensified my desire to help others who are disadvantaged or have yet to learn of God’s love.
I started out as a music major here at Roberts but left school to take care of my mom in her last year battling cancer. Eventually, I finished my degree in business, earning a BS in Organizational Management.
Although it took me a while to finish my degree, and my path took a significantly different course from its beginning, pursuing a degree in business matched my life path well. My education has helped me in my work here. Also, I’ve started a couple of successful organizations and served a non-profit that helps African founders focused on social enterprise.
I think the Christian liberal arts education here can help you both be a better human and also be better equipped strategically for the future employment landscape. As technology continues to advance and automation increases, experts tell us that it’s the creative thinkers and problem-solvers that will be increasingly in demand. Also, the areas that depend upon the human touch will continue to grow. Machines and AI will never be human.
As I’ve raised a family and now have grandchildren, my reflections center on what kind of human I have been. In light of this, I think a Christian liberal arts college provides a great opportunity to not just pursue a career (which will likely pivot several times; 3-11 career changes is typical!) but learn for thriving. The human-ities and your general education core studies offer you living skills and development that will help you no matter your life path.
Expect to struggle and see those times as opportunities for growth and, if you’re open to it, for knowing God in a greater way.