Do you ever wonder who the people at NAKASEC and our affiliate centers, KRC and KRCC, are? Not just the staff, but the community members, volunteers, interns and board members? Well they are the ones who keep us grounded, help drive our campaigns and keep us motivated. You may have seen our seniors on the State Capitol fighting against budget cuts, our young people dancing, singing and shouting out for youth rights, our children playing poongmul (Korean drums) at rallies and marches.
Well, in order for you to get to know us better, we are rolling out our #meetNAKASEC Fridays where we will profile one person within our network. We hope you enjoy!
Q: Where are you from?
A: I was born and raised near Philadelphia, but after 18 years, I felt like I needed a totally new experience, so I ended up in Honolulu for college!
Q: How did you get involved with KRC, KRCC and/or NAKASEC?
A: With my mother and father both in Young Koreans United (YKU) in the 80s and 90s, I was born into these organizations. Back when the Philadelphia branch was around, I remember going to protests, meetings, and the annual Jishinbalpgis in Philly. When I was in high school, my sister and I wanted to visit my dad in L.A., but our expected California vacation turned into a full-time internship! It turned out to be my first and best job, and I decided to come back this summer to intern with KRC. I will always be grateful to have activist parents who have always made an effort to expose me to these issues and this work.
Q: Why do you do the work that you do with KRC/KRCC/or NAKASEC?
A: As a part of KRC and NAKASEC, I want to be able
to work with the Korean-American community, whether they be the KRC children, youth, or seniors. I have met some of the best people through these organizations, and the lessons I have learned here will truly resonate with me for the rest of my life. By working with NAKASEC and KRC, I have realized that I want to continue working with non-profits wherever I live. There is something really rewarding and amazing in working in community service surrounded by such dedicated and passionate people, and I hope to join the Peace Corps after graduation and possibly study abroad in North Korea during my studies!
Q: Tell us of a memorable moment (this could be a campaign, action, or even a simple casual gathering at KRC.. tell us why it was memorable..)
A: This summer, something I will always remember is KRC’s “Eat & Greet” fundraiser in June. I have never worked in a setting where food had to prepped and served to people, and it was much harder than I ever imagined. It was absolutely one of the most hectic days of my internship here, but definitely the most memorable. There was this sense of unity and support from all the staff, interns, and volunteers throughout the entire day that was really refreshing to see. Seeing volunteers running around calling out orders during the lunch and dinner rushes, and then going out to see that people were eating peacefully in the candlelight enjoying the hard work we put into the fundraiser was really great. Even more, Min and Lucy, who are both just 10 years old, were able to get more than 200 signatures for the Choi family campaign at the fundraiser! It was amazing to see their dedication!
Q: If you could trade places with any other person for a week, famous or not famous, living or dead, real or fictional, with whom would it be and why?
A: I would actually love to trade places with Ralph Nader. Some people think I’m crazy for saying that, but he was one of the greatest activists of the 60s and 70s. He was one of the most influential people in the implementation of seat belts and the passing of the Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act. His passion to fight for the safety and health of the people and his ability to fight against corporate control has always been inspiring to me.
Q: What is your comfort food and why?
A: I’ve always loved DengJangGuk and KimchiGuk! I could eat those everyday!
Meet other folks at KRC, KRCC and NAKASEC!