Korean Kids and Orphanage Outreach Mission

We are organized to improve and enrich the lives of children living in orphanages and group homes in South Korea; to support these youth after they leave the institutions and start their own lives by providing post-high-school-graduation education, support services, and resources; to aid the institutions and staff that devote their resources to the upbringing of these youth and spread awareness and build compassion for these children.
Sep 4, 2015

JinDong in America

JinDong in America (near Boston, August 2015)
JinDong in America (near Boston, August 2015)

We reported last time that JinDong, one of our college scholarship recipients, was coming to America. JinDong grew up in a Korean orphanage from elementary school through high school, and he's been living a dream-come-true for the past several weeks during his time in America. We had him write about his experiences to give you a firsthand glimpse of the impact your support is having on his life. This report is much longer than many of our previous reports, but we wanted to include his entire essay. If you don't have time to read it all, you much check out JinDong's quick video intro, which is linked below. As always, thank you for your support! -- Aimee Jachym, KKOOM President


1. Introduction

My name is Jindong. I’m 22 years old (US age). I live in Busan,South Korea, and I study at Pusan National University, where my major is Business administration.  Visiting America was one of my dreams when I was younger. I saw many popular and famous American places, such as Niagara Falls, Times Square, Statue of Liberty and others.  So I’m so glad to visit and stay 3 months in America.

When I was 12 years old, I entered an academic academy in my town and attended until I was 18 years old. Until I was 15 years old, I just studied to compete and win against other students in school, but when I was junior in middle school, I started to think about my future and realized the importance of education in my life. I think if someone studies hard and becomes well-educated, he can have many options to choose a job, and in order to succeed in a certain area, people should study and learn lots of things about whatever it is. So, I made my own plan and curriculum. My goals were to be in the top 10th percentile on the Korean SAT and to get into a good university. When I sat down to study, I always reminded myself about my plan and future and realized if I didn’t study hard, I could not accomplish it.

However I’ve never thought that I was a good student and I studied hard. Rather, I think I need to be more serious and try to study harder than before because the rest of this year and next year are really important for my life, like the last year of high school.

2. College and My Year Off

 When I was elementary school student, my dream was to be a CEO, but it was very indefinite; I was not serious about it. After I entered middle school, I sometimes agonized and considered my future. At that time, my dream was still the same, to be a CEO, and I really knew about my strengths and interests. I liked social studies, geography and English. So I wanted to enter a normal high school and major in business administration in college, but I couldn’t enter a normal high school because of several financial and private problems. Instead, I entered a technical high school focusing on electronics, and there, I thought and agonized about my future and career plan seriously. Even though my concentration was electronics, I didn’t like it and wasn’t interested in it at all. Hence, I determined to enter the business department at Pusan National University because I wanted to get a job in a marketing or management department in a large company.

 I had several reasons for taking a year off from university. First, I needed to prepare lots of things such as English test scores to get a job I want. In the last 3 or 4 years, it’s been getting harder to get a good job in Korea, so I need to get a lot of things ready to be competitive. Also, I wanted to have diverse experiences before getting a job, because once I start working, I need to keep working and it’s not easy to do other things after getting a job. Since I’m having good time in America now, I’m very glad that I decided to take a year off.

3. Before Coming to America

I already knew that American culture is very different than Korean culture, but after I arrived in the United States, I really felt it.  Before I came here, I wanted to experience American culture, such as food, basic manners, public transportation and other things.  I also expected that there would be lots of different people in America.  After I arrived U.S., I really understood how different it is from Korea.

I had a couple of goals for coming to America. The first one was getting better at English. Even though I knew that 3 months is not long a time to get much better, during my time at Boston University, I felt that I improved by fixing some of my word choice and usage problems. The most important thing is that I got to overcome my nervousness when I talk to English speakers. Even though I’m sometimes nervous, I think I have made a big change in this area. Finally, I wanted to visit as many places and cities in America as possible, and at the end of my trip, I’m supposed to visit Chicago, Washington D.C, New York and Detroit! I’m looking forward to do it.  

4. Boston: Exploring, English Classes and Experiencing Cultural Differences

I was in Boston from June 29th to August 22th. I lived in a dormitory at Boston University. I liked it, and the location was really nice. It was 3 minutes on foot from Fenway Park, which is the home ballpark of the Boston Red Sox, and I could see the Charles River through my window. The exterior of the building was also impressive; although it is a little bit old, it looked like a castle.

Of course, I attended CELOP English class every day, during the week, and afterward I sometimes exercised in the great gym on campus. When I missed Korea, I had dinner at a Korean restaurant or bought something to eat at the Korean market called “H Mart”. I felt like I was in Korea when I went there.

I also visited lots of famous places in Boston such as the Freedom Trail, Fenway Park, Prudential Center, Harvard University, MIT and others. My favorite place in Boston is the Charles River. It flows between Boston University and MIT and looks so beautiful. So I sometimes crossed the bridge between the two universities by bicycle or just walked along the bridge and the river. There were many people in boats, yachts and canoes. The skyline of Boston, the Charles River and the beautiful sky made for a beautiful harmony. 

In addition to learning English, I met many students from around the world. Even though America is just one country, I could meet so many international students and people. I think America is like a mini world. In my class, there were 16 students, excluding me: 5 Saudi Arabian, 3 Chinese, 3 Taiwanese, 2 Brazilian, 2 Japanese and 1 Russian. And I had two roommates. One was from Spain and another was from Colombia. 

I experienced many cultural differences with my classmates and roommates from around the world. Let me explain some of the examples. First, Western people use a big towel after taking a shower. Honestly, I still don’t understand why they use it. Also many people blow their nose loudly, even in restaurants. At first, I was so surprised and embarrassed, but now I understand and respect the cultural difference. Another thing that I was surprised at is that so many people jog and run shirtless. Besides these examples, I also had a lot of other experiences.

5. After Boston: Going to New York!

 I stayed in New York between August 22th and 27th, and I visited a lot of popular places there, such as Times Square, Central Park, 9.11 Memorial, Museum of Natural History, Rockefeller Center, Korea town, Chinatown, SoHo and other places.  At the top of the Rockefeller Center, I could see all of NYC. It was so nice. At Times Square, I could see many commercial advertisements that I had seen only on TV or the Internet. It was so impressive.

 I had a little funny story about Times Square. When I was looking around there, two men dressed up as Iron Man and Spiderman asked me to take some pictures together. So I took pictures with them, said goodbye and turned to go to another place. Suddenly they requested tips! It made me upset, because they came to me and took pictures, but I didn’t request anything to them. Anyway, since I took pictures with them, I gave them a tip.

 In the Museum of Natural History, I could see so many diverse things such as dinosaur skeletons, prehistoric people from each continent, detailed information about the universe and many other things. It was also impressive. Owing to its enormous size, I spent 4 hours in the museum.

I had heard from some people that New York’s subway is very dirty and messy, but after I rode the subway, I thought it was not true. The subway station and platform were dirty and old, but I thought the subway train itself was okay. So I was ok with it.    

6. Conclusion

I’m not sure, but I think I accomplished my goals pretty well. Even though I still need more practice with English, I became more confident and more motivated than before. Still, when I talk and listen to English speakers, I often can’t understand what they say. Whenever that happens, I’m usually frustrated and motivated simultaneously. Hence, I’m going to keep studying English with YouTube and other things after I return to Korea.

And also, I made a new goal after my first month in America. It is to travel to lots of countries in the world. Before I came to U.S., I was not interested in visiting or travelling to other countries. Because I thought that I would have to spend lots of money for just a short time, and it is inefficient. But I changed my mind. Visiting and touring other countries make me feel great and give me important life experiences and memories.

I want to visit other countries I had never been before such as Japan, U.K., Germany and others in the future.

Of course I have something else to say. Up until last year, I had never expected nor imagined that I could visit America this year. I appreciate it. And I am always thankful for all of KKOOM’s donors and board members. Thank you so much.

JinDong had to cook a meal for a class assignment!
JinDong had to cook a meal for a class assignment!

Links:

Sep 1, 2015

Update on Minho and Jinyoung

Minho, US age 4, August 2015
Minho, US age 4, August 2015

Minho is a Korean orphan who was born with special needs. He has very small kidneys, which doctors think is the reason he has developed very slowly. He started walking after he was 2 years old, and now 4, he is still not talking. 

Minho attends preschool with other special needs kids 5 days a week, and he is now old enough to receive the government subsidy, which pays for his preschool. 

Thanks to your support, however, KKOOM has been sending Minho to extra physical therapy sessions on a regular basis for the last 2 years. These extra sessions help Minho build strength, control and confidence in his body.

On a recent visit with Minho in Daegu, he showed a lot of curiosity toward a few small dogs in the park and was generally happy to be outside. He was even happier when we took him to eat one of his favorite foods, bulgogi (marinated Korean beef), at a nearby restaurant. 

Jinyoung is a 2-year-old Korean orphan who was abandoned on the steps of a small hospital when he was just a few months old. From the beginning, he was a very active and healthy baby, and he is doing very well in preschool. As we reported last time, Jinyoung started preschool in March 2015, and he adjusted to the new environment without issue. He now attends preschool for a full day with the older children at the orphanage.

KKOOM's support makes it possible for Korean orphan toddlers like Jinyoung to start preschool before the government subsidy becomes available to them at age 4. Hence, your support of KKOOM is what makes it possible for Jinyoung to develop the basic social and academic skills he needs to succeed later in preschool and elementary school. 

This summer, Jinyoung visited a water park with the other children in his orphanage, and he had a great time, as you can see in a few of the photo collage pictures. He was actually very upset when he was told it was time to get out of the water! He is definitely a strong (and strong willed) (not so) little guy. I predict that he will be quite athletic as he grows up!


We certainly couldn't do this without your support, so thank you, thank you, thank you for your interest in and support of our toddler education program. If you ever have any questions or comments, please do not hesitate to contact me directly.

Best regards,
Aimee

 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

AIMEE J. JACHYM | Co-founder & President
(e) ajachym@kkoom.org | (skype/kakao) aimeeimnida
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
KOREAN KIDS AND ORPHANAGE OUTREACH MISSION (KKOOM)
Improving the lives of Korean orphans through outreach and education
P.O. Box 973, Portage, MI, USA 49081 | (us-tel) + 1-269-340-0430
Jinyoung, US age 2, August 2015
Jinyoung, US age 2, August 2015
Minho, US age 4, August 2015 (collage)
Minho, US age 4, August 2015 (collage)

Links:

Jun 4, 2015

JinDong is coming to America!

JinDong
JinDong

We're excited to announce that JinDong (JD) will be coming to the US in just a few weeks. JD has been a KKOOM scholarship recipient since he started college at Pusan National University in 2012. JD is now a junior majoring in business management, and thanks to your help, he will be coming to Boston to study intensive English at Boston University for six weeks.

Most Korean males have to serve in the military for two years, but JD, like others who grew up in orphanages, is exempt from this requirement. This has given JD some extra time for his studies in comparison to most of his male friends who are currently on university leave in order school to serve in the military.

Thanks to financial support from KKOOM and supporters like you, JD was able to use this extra time by taking a leave of absence from school this year (beginning in March) in order to focus on improving his English skills. The job market will be extremely competitive for JD when he graduates from college (expected Feb. 2017), so this year off will give him an opportunity to build his resume by acquiring skills and experiences that will set him apart from his peers.

Coming to America will give JD the chance to use and improve his English skils in an immersion setting, which he is both excited and nervous about. During his time here, he will also get to visit a few American companies and see what the business world is really like. We're still lining up his schedule for mid-to-late August, but if you happen to be in the Boston area and would be interested in hosting JD at work for a day - or know someone who might - please send me an email.

When asked what he's most looking forward to, JD said "getting to travel and going to New York!" We believe it will be an unforgettable summer for JD, and it wouldn't have been possible without your support! We plan that our next update in a few months will be written by JD himself, so stay tuned!

Thank you so much,

Aimee

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
AIMEE J. JACHYM | Co-founder & President
(e) ajachym@kkoom.org | (skype/kakao) aimeeimnida
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
KOREAN KIDS AND ORPHANAGE OUTREACH MISSION (KKOOM)
Improving the lives of Korean orphans through outreach and education
P.O. Box 973, Portage, MI, USA 49081 | (us-tel) + 1-269-340-0430

Links:

 
   

donate now:

An anonymous donor will match all new monthly recurring donations, but only if 75% of donors upgrade to a recurring donation today.
Terms and conditions apply.
Make a monthly recurring donation on your credit card. You can cancel at any time.
Make a donation in honor or memory of:
What kind of card would you like to send?
How much would you like to donate?
  • $15
    give
  • $45
    give
  • $75
    give
  • $150
    give
  • $333
    give
  • $15
    each month
    give
  • $45
    each month
    give
  • $75
    each month
    give
  • $150
    each month
    give
  • $333
    each month
    give
  • $
    give
gift Make this donation a gift, in honor of, or in memory of someone?

Reviews of Korean Kids and Orphanage Outreach Mission

Great Nonprofits
Read and write reviews about Korean Kids and Orphanage Outreach Mission on GreatNonProfits.org.
WARNING: Javascript is currently disabled or is not available in your browser. GlobalGiving makes extensive use of Javascript and will not function properly with Javascript disabled. Please enable Javascript and refresh this page.