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Improving the Lives of Korean Youth Through Outreach and Education

Making Dreams a Reality – Former Scholar Update

KKOOM’s Executive Director with NaHyeon in 2019.

NaHyeon is a former KKOOM College Scholar and is now enrolled in the English Language Institution at the University of Utah to study English. His English studies are possible thanks to the Yana Ministry sponsoring him with a scholarship. 

NaHyeon loved his time in Atlanta!

His dream is to stay in the United States at the end of his year-long program and open up his own restaurant. We are hoping to get him one step closer to his dreams by funding internship experiences across the nation working at different restaurants to diversify his culinary work. Thanks to a KKOOM donor, his first internship experience was funded with the travel and meal costs. In early May, NaHyeon came to Atlanta, GA, to start one of his internships we will fund in 2022. Due to unforeseen circumstances, NaHyeon was unable to complete the short-term internship. KKOOM is looking at funding another opportunity soon, so stay tuned for more details!

To better understand NaHyeon’s story, here is his bio that he shared recently with the Yana Ministry. 

“I first entered the welfare center when I was 4 years old. Although I don’t have any memories of or keep in touch with my birth mother, I was still able to mature into a person of sound body and mind through the care of the director and the center mothers. 

Growing up, I lacked patience and grit and found myself oftentimes giving up in the midst of many presented opportunities. I had no interest in studying and lost my chance to apply to my high school of choice due to low academic performance. At that moment, I thought of all the younger children at the center. I resolved to become better because they were looking up to me. 

Through rigorous studying, I was able to become valedictorian and I tried to live a life I was proud of as the President of the student body for all 3 years. One day in my junior year, I happened to attend a lecture by a well-known chef. It changed my life forever. I began to dream of becoming a chef that could cater to people’s hearts through food. 

I aspire to be a chef. Because I have received so much unconditional love and support, I hope to one-day give back to those that need it.” – NaHyeon 

NaHyeon receives advice from an Executive Chef

From KKOOM College Scholar to Oak Tree Project Scholar (KKOOM’s partner organization) to now being a Yana Ministry Scholar, NaHyeon has worked incredibly hard to be studying English in the United States. It is a full circle moment to see your generosity through the college scholarship program has allowed NaHyeon to be on a journey to pursue his career goals. In the future, we will share a blog post written by NaHyeon. We will also give you an update on how Minyeol and Jaehyuck are doing as they start their second year of graduate school and second year of college.  

We hope to continue making dreams a reality for the children and young adults we serve. Thank you for being a part of our story to make this possible for more aged-out adults like NaHyeon. 

With gratitude, 

-Grace Lee, Executive Director

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