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Improving the Lives of Korean Youth Through Outreach and Education

Believing In His Dreams – Jaehyuck’s Update

In between his acting gigs, Jaehyuck loves eating tteokbokki.

In February 2023, former KKOOM College Scholar Jaehyuck asked if we could help cover his moving costs to relocate to Seoul. This was a very unique request to fund the $300 moving fee for Jaehyuck. So we reached out to the KKOOM community. The outpouring of love you gave Jaehyuck was truly heartwarming. Over 20 people from four different countries donated $1,826 to fund this special need. We split the disbursement to Jaehyuck, giving him $740 in February and we are providing the remaining $1,086 to him next week.

We asked Jaehyuck a few questions to share about his move to Seoul. We have translated the answers from Korean to English below:

How has your move to Seoul been? 

Before moving to Seoul, there was a lot of excitement and anticipation. After moving, I had a lot of worries. I had no acquaintances in Seoul, and I had to worry so much that I had to do it myself. So I was more worried than excited.

What do you like the most about Seoul?

Since Seoul is the most central place in Korea, there are many things to do and eat, but the thing I like the most is shopping. I love accessories!

What are some challenges you have faced since moving to Seoul?

When living in Seoul after living in a rural area, it is difficult to handle everything in terms of being alone, and the cost of living is higher than when living in a rural area. The maintenance cost is much higher than I thought.

What are some projects you’re working on now?

I’m preparing an episode with the YouTube Channel “Jachinam” that has over 590,000 YouTube subscribers. I’m also preparing to participate in a music video as the lead role. Next, I will prepare for some submissions for a short film festival.

How are you going to use 1,400,000 won (~$1,086) from KKOOM?

After receiving the 1.4 million won, I think I will use it when I am really in a hurry. Since Seoul is expensive, I think I will use it for management expenses, emergency savings, or self-development.

What is your favorite neighborhood in Seoul? Why?

I haven’t been to all of Seoul, but if I had to choose one, I like Dongdaemun Market. I like the atmosphere.

What is your favorite food to eat? Do you have any comfort food that you like to eat when you are stressed out?

The food I want to eat the most is homemade food. When I get stressed, my favorite food to eat is tteokbokki. Eating something slightly spicy relieves my stress even for a moment.

Is there anything you would like to say to the KKOOM group who is helping you achieve your goals? 

It has been very difficult to come to Seoul alone and endure everything like this. But the KKOOM community has helped me a lot and keeps cheering me on from behind. If successful, I will definitely repay you! Thank you always for your support!

As a young adult who has aged out of the social welfare system, Jaehyuck has not been shy to share some of the challenges he faces of living alone, high rent cost, and moving to Seoul without any friends. Despite some of these hardships, Jaehyuck has not given hope to keep pursuing his dreams, thanks to you. No matter how difficult the road may be in the future, Jaehyuck will always know that the KKOOM community is here to support him. There is power in community. And again, you have shown us the beauty of that community to uplift the next generation in South Korea. From the bottom of our hearts, thank you for believing in Jaehyuck’s dreams.

With gratitude,

-Grace Lee, Executive Director

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