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Improving the Lives of Korean Orphans Through Outreach and Education

Update on KKOOM College Students

Since 2011, KKOOM has been helping young adults who grew up in Korean orphanages go to college by providing scholarships and mentoring support. This spring, we provided support for four young adults, whom we’ll introduce below. The students receive approximately $500 USD per semester to help offset their living expenses and buy textbooks, provided that they are making adequate progress toward their degrees.

KKOOM Korean orphanage college student

JD recently landed a position as a summer intern at Samsung Card in Seoul.

In addition to support from KKOOM, Korean orphans can receive college scholarships from a variety of Korean agencies, which is how a portion of tuition and living expenses are covered. Unfortunately, however, some of the scholarship applications require affidavits from legal parents regarding financial circumstances, making it almost impossible for kids who grew up in orphanages to obtain the scholarships since they often do not have contact with their legal parents. As KKOOM becomes more aware of these kinds of barriers to education, we work with the students and their orphanage caretakers to find other means of support, including increasing our scholarship amounts on a case-by-case basis.

For example, this semester, JD, a 4th year student at Pusan National University majoring in business administration, was very busy looking for a summer internship in his field, and he incurred significant expenses associated with traveling to interviews, getting business clothes and the like. KKOOM was happy to be able to provide him with an extra scholarship (approximately an additional $500) to help offset these expenses. We’re even more thrilled to share that JD landed a two-month paid internship position with Samsung Card in their Marketing Department at the company’s headquarters in downtown Seoul. About half of the interns will be offered full-time positions after graduation. JD says, “My goal is to enter the company after the internship, so I want to experience the company’s environment. Before getting a job, the internship can be a good chance for me to experience what the company is and how the people work.”

You may recall that JD studied at Boston University last summer with help from KKOOM [more]. After taking a year off from his studies to focus on improving his English, JD is on his way to graduating and obtaining his bachelor’s degree this year from Pusan National University.

KKOOM Korean orphanage college students

1st row: Mingyu, Eunbi; 2nd row: JD, Chambit

Here’s an update on our other KKOOM College Scholarship Recipients:

Eunbi, 2nd year at Gumi College, Major: Childcare. Last semester, Eunbi was appointed the student head of her major’s department, and through that opportunity, she gained a lot of new experiences, including helping put on a large exhibition at the college. At the same time, however, these duties put a lot of stress on her so she didn’t have much time for herself or for meeting up with friends. Over winter vacation, though, she was able to balance out her workload, and she also spent some time working as an assistant teacher at the college’s affiliated preschool. In five years, she hopes to be happily married and enjoying her career as a preschool teacher.

Mingyu, 1st year at Gumi College, Major: Hospitality and Cooking. Mingyu hopes to become a hotel chef, so he decided to go to college to improve his chances of landing his ideal job. In his free time, he likes to exercise, and he hopes to travel more in the future. Mingyu has always enjoyed cooking so he is looking forward to doing more of that in college, and he’s also looking forward to meeting new friends.

Chambit, 1st year at Gumi Polytechnic College, Major: Applied Computing. Chambit likes computer games, soccer, working out and listening to music. He is a rather quiet and reserved young man, but kind to all who get to know him. In his first year in college, he hopes to learn more about the various careers available to him based on his chosen major and better develop his future plans. He plans to study hard to get good grades.

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