[KKOOM] Support for young adult Korean orphans

by Korean Kids and Orphanage Outreach Mission
[KKOOM] Support for young adult Korean orphans
[KKOOM] Support for young adult Korean orphans
[KKOOM] Support for young adult Korean orphans
[KKOOM] Support for young adult Korean orphans
[KKOOM] Support for young adult Korean orphans
[KKOOM] Support for young adult Korean orphans
[KKOOM] Support for young adult Korean orphans
[KKOOM] Support for young adult Korean orphans
[KKOOM] Support for young adult Korean orphans
[KKOOM] Support for young adult Korean orphans
NaHyeon with KKOOM's Executive Director in 2019
NaHyeon with KKOOM's Executive Director 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. 

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 is funded with the travel and meal costs. He is currently in Atlanta, GA, and will start his internship this week. 

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 

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 more updates and 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

NaHyeon is excited for his Korean BBQ internship!
NaHyeon is excited for his Korean BBQ internship!
NaHyeon receives advice from an Executive Chef
NaHyeon receives advice from an Executive Chef
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Minyeol is wrapping up his 1st year in grad school
Minyeol is wrapping up his 1st year in grad school

One year ago, Minyeol was wrapping up the last semester of his undergraduate classes. Now, he is finishing up the first year of his graduate studies in Theology. There are still challenges having all virtual classes, but his optimism to push through is inspiring. We asked Minyeol to answer a few questions on how his fall semester of graduate school is going. Here are his answers translated in English:

1) What do you enjoy most about college?

  • I have started my second semester of college during my first year of graduate school. Because it is still virtual classes, there are some challenges, but there is a subject that I like the most. This is a sermon course. In order to do ministry in the future, you need to prepare for sermons, and this course teaches you how to prepare for a sermon. I enjoy listening to it.

2) What is your favorite thing to do on the weekends?

  • There are still many limitations due to Covid-19. But I think the best thing to do is to worship at church on Sundays and to talk with people.

3) What is the most challenging thing about college?

  • The most difficult part is having non face-to-face academic classes. For the virtual classes, there are many things that are needed in various situations, and it is difficult to talk about ministry without any in-person communication.

4) How does the scholarship money of 700,000 KRW help you pay for school or does it help you with living costs?

  • I am very grateful to receive the 700,000 won semester scholarship through KKOOM. I am currently living with a lot of support and I am content in my life.

5) Do you have anything you would like to say to your KKOOM supporters?

  • A heartfelt thank you to the KKOOM supporters. In the future, I will not forget this grace, study harder, and do my best to repay you in my life. I want to meet and say hello to each and every one of you, but I cannot do that. So I would like to say thank you, even though it’s a short gesture.

6) What are you most grateful for?

  • Everything is by God’s grace. There are many things to be thankful for, but I thank God for giving me the opportunity to study so difficult, and I am most grateful to the KKOOM organization that gives me a precious scholarship in a difficult environment.

7) What helps you get through really tough days?

  • Even hard days seems to have strength. There are many ways to overcome this, but the most intensive method is to meditate while listening to praise or take time to reflect on my heart through prayer. This is how I overcome the most difficult situations in my life.

8) What is your favorite season of the year and why?

  • I love all seasons. One of my favorite seasons is winter. The reason is simple. Because there is Christmas when Jesus was born. 

Anytime we hear from Minyeol, he is most grateful for you. By investing in his graduate studies, you are keeping hope alive for this young man navigating the world through difficult circumstances, something that he acknowledged in this blog post.

Each of you may have experienced your own difficult days this year as well. Despite the unexpected we have navigated the past several months or the past two years, we extend a heartfelt thank you for taking the time to support, care, and give love to young adults like Minyeol.

Even through the hard days, you give strength to a young man on the other side of the world. Your generosity is reminding Minyeol to be grateful for everything he has. Through the holiday season, we hope you find joy through rest and are continuing to stay safe, healthy, and blessed. Thank you for being a blessing to our college scholars Minyeol and Jaehyuck. 

With gratitude, 


Minyeol is a worship leader at church
Minyeol is a worship leader at church
Minyeol at Aemangwon Children's Home in 2019
Minyeol at Aemangwon Children's Home in 2019
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Jaehyuck is KKOOM's newest college scholar!
Jaehyuck is KKOOM's newest college scholar!

While we welcome a new season of summer beginning this week, we are also excited to have a new college scholar for KKOOM! His name is Jaehyuck and he grew up at a children’s home we support. Within two weeks of graduating from high school, he was asked to move out of the children’s home at 18-years-old, the stage of life when a child ages out of Korea’s social welfare system. The Korean government provides approximately $4,000 for young adults to transition into adulthood, a one-time subsidy to independently live on their own. 

When Jaehyuck heard he received the KKOOM college scholarship, he said, “After leaving the children’s home, there are a lot of difficulties and a lot of things to know. Thank you for helping me like this! Thank you!” He started his collegiate studies in spring 2021 and plans on graduating with a two-year degree from a university in the Gyeongsangbuk-do region. We asked him a few questions as he was wrapping up his first semester in college and we translated those answers into English.

  1. Write your self-introduction.
    • My name is Jaehyuck. I like to exercise and I am very interested in singing and acting, and I would like to try it if given the opportunity. But I want to study hard and get a job as a great bodyguard. 
  2. What is the expected graduation year and month? 
    • January 2023
  3. Why did you choose your major? 
    • Since I am interested in martial arts and in secret services, I chose to study Security Management. 
  4. What are you looking forward to the most this semester?
    • I am looking forward to studying security-related topics, and I am also looking forward to meeting new friends and studying. 
  5. What are your goals for this semester?
    • My goal is to get good grades through hard work, receive a national scholarship, and continue attending college. 
  6. How do you plan to use the scholarship (700,000 won or $615) provided by KKOOM this semester?
    • I want to use it for transportation, textbooks, and to cover some of my lunch expenses.  
  7. What is your dream and how will college help you achieve it? (The dream here does not necessarily have to be related to your studies or work).
    • My dream is to become an actor. 

Supporting Jaehyuck’s future dreams by funding his educational studies gives him a fresh start, a new beginning in life. You give him the confidence to embrace the unknowns and challenges ahead. We are grateful you are a part of his journey as he pursues his passions to serve his country through the secret service. Thank you for breathing life into him, validating his dreams, and giving him hope for the future. 

Jaehyuck wants to be a secret service bodyguard.
Jaehyuck wants to be a secret service bodyguard.
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Byung Kyung (center) at his graduation performance
Byung Kyung (center) at his graduation performance

In our last GlobalGiving update about our college scholars, we shared how Minyeol was not giving up on his dreams. Despite a pandemic delaying the start of the school year last year, he was determined to finish the race and graduate on time. We are proud to say that both of our college scholars have successfully graduated! 

Thanks to your support and the KKOOM College Scholarship Program, Byung Kyung and Minyeol finished all their semester classes in December and had their graduation ceremony earlier this month. Graduating from the same college in Daegu, they both studied a Bachelor’s degree in Applied Music. Beyond college, they are interested in a career in ministry. On the weekends, Byung spends time with social workers and Minyeol leads worship at his church. Building community and serving others are two important traits they value. 

The hardest part about college was learning new things I have never done in my life, says Byung Kyung as he reflects on his collegiate studies. For Minyeol, he said there never was a hard time. “Day by day is fun and grateful, and above all, it is not difficult thanks to the care of KKOOM supporters.” 

While you may be thousands of miles away from South Korea, you directly impact the lives of these young adults. Minyeol expresses sincere gratitude for supporting his dreams. He shared, “I am grateful you have helped me out in my life and taking care of me so I don’t lose my strength. In the future, I will continue to pray for the KKOOM group and will not live a life that is embarrassing to my sponsors. Always thank you and thank you again. 

As Kerry Washington said, “Your life is your story and the adventure ahead of you is the journey to fulfill your own purpose and potential.” Thank you for walking through this journey with Minyeol and Byung Kyung as they continue striving to reach their fullest potential. Your giving and your support helped these two individuals discover their purpose in college and helped them believe graduation was possible. Together, we made those dreams come true! 

In our next post, we will share more about our new scholarship recipients - stay tuned for more updates! May you continue to stay safe, healthy, and blessed. We are so grateful for the love you show to our Korean college scholars. 

With gratitude, 

-Grace Lee

Minyeol w/ the house mothers who helped raise him
Minyeol w/ the house mothers who helped raise him
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You turn on the news, and it is sometimes hard to find hope in our current society. Through the setbacks, unexpected circumstances, global pandemic, and racial tension, we have bounced back from the challenges we have faced over the past several months.

For one of KKOOM’s college scholars, the coronavirus was met with a delayed start to the spring semester, learning through virtual teaching, and having a shorter summer break, along with finishing his last year in college. Minyeal is a senior at a college in Daegu pursuing an Applied Music degree. His dream is to become a praise minister. At the end of the summer, we asked Minyeal to answer a few questions about his summer vacation. His answers have been translated into English.

What did you like the most about your spring semester?

  • During the spring semester, I chose a class called piano accompaniment. It was a very rewarding time, so I made a commitment to keep getting closer to the piano little by little.

How long was your summer vacation?

  • Due to coronavirus, summer vacation was only one month, and there is a graduation performance around December. I focused more on my studies rather than enjoying my summer vacation personally.

What did you do this summer?

  • It did not feel like summer due to the rainy season being so long, so I spent the summer with more focus on my studies and praise, as I said earlier.

When do you graduate?

  • Graduation is scheduled for February 2021. By December, all semester classes are expected to end safely thanks to KKOOM and those sponsoring my scholarship.

Are you reading an interesting book or part of the Bible?

  • I am currently reading through Psalm.

What is your favorite food to eat or drink in the summer to overcome the hot weather?

  • There are many things and food to overcome the summer heat, but I like coffee. I drink Americano often.

What goals or dreams do you have when you graduate from college?

  • It is the most difficult question, but I always want to become a minister of praise. Many plans may change due to certain circumstances, and my efforts are important, but I will not give up and won’t get frustrated. I will rely on my faith to reach the narrow path in the end.

What are your favorite Bible verses and why?

  • "Why are down in the dumps, dear soul? Why are you crying the blues? Fix my eyes on God - soon I’ll be praising again. He puts a smile on my face. He’s my God" [Psalm 42:11]. Many Bible verses comfort me and give me grace, but it is true that the reason why this Bible verse touches my heart is that I am afraid of various things. My own future living in this world is unstable and I am about to graduate. However, I shared this Bible verse to believe in the Lord and stand up again, while being comforted and refreshed again through the Word. 

Fall down seven times, stand up eight. This is a powerful Japanese proverb that means in life, you will be knocked down. But in order to win, all you have to do is stand up one more time. Minyeal’s faith helps keep him focused on his future goals, even through setbacks. While KKOOM is a 501(c)(3) non-religious organization, we do not discriminate on funding a scholarship based on a scholar’s religious beliefs. 

Thank you for being a part of his journey to reach his dreams. When a young adult ages out of a children’s home after graduating from high school, the individual is given approximately $5,000 by the Korean government and then, they are on their own. By funding Minyeal’s college scholarship, you are giving him hope to not give up, no matter how difficult the circumstances are. He is unsure what the future holds, but he is walking confidently into the unknown with your support and his faith. 

Minyeal enjoys drinking Americano in the summer.
Minyeal enjoys drinking Americano in the summer.


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Organization Information

Korean Kids and Orphanage Outreach Mission

Location: Jonesboro, GA - USA
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @koreankids
Project Leader:
Aimee Jachym
Portage, MICHIGAN United States
$82,839 raised of $95,000 goal
1,502 donations
$12,161 to go
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