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[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
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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Byung Kyung finds joy in meditating and reading
Byung Kyung finds joy in meditating and reading

In South Korea, the spring semester marks the beginning of a new school year, as students in Korea start the new school year in March and end in December. This spring semester presented challenges to students due to COVID-19 as they navigated a new schedule for their classes. KKOOM reached out to our two college scholars, Byung Kyung and Minyeal, in mid-April to give us a sense of how their daily school routine.

Byung Kyung and Minyeal are both majoring in Applied Music at a Divinity college in Daegu, South Korea, which was the epicenter of the COVID-19 outbreak in South Korea. While the spring semester was supposed to start on March 16th, online lectures did not begin until April 13th. Most professors record their lectures in advance using “Naver Band” and also conduct some classes using ZOOM. Each subject is about 25 minutes in two sessions for lecture and homework. 

The transition to online classes did not seem to pose a problem for either of our college scholars. Byung Kyung takes advantage of study groups with classmates, while practicing social distancing and uses caution while interacting with others. His favorite class this semester is vocal performance to help strengthen his talents. What gives him the most joy nowadays is reading and his meditation time. 

When we asked Byung Kyung if he had any words to share with KKOOM supporters, he shared, “Even around the world, coronavirus gives us a lot of pressure. There are times I have struggled with how coronavirus has affected our society, but I am still having a good time by the grace of God. Thank you for your support in helping me recover from life’s difficulties. I also want to help other people later without forgetting this grace!”

Minyeal’s favorite class this semester is piano accompaniment. Minyeal is a praise band leader at his local church, so he is used to being behind the mic singing. While piano accompaniment is his favorite class, he also shared this class gives him many challenges personally and academically. It is a difficult class, but Minyeal has a positive attitude about his effort and progress made throughout the semester. He really enjoys it because of the accountability and personal attention he receives through 1:1 learning with the professor. One of the best things that gives Minyeal daily joy is writing Bible verses. It helps him relax throughout the day. 

Sharing his appreciation for KKOOM’s support, Minyeal also expressed his thanks to every supporter who helps fund his college scholarship. “As I received a lot of love, I will do my best to work hard to live as a person who gives and loves many people. I would like to express my sincere gratitude to all those who support my dreams, and I sincerely hope and pray that the Lord’s love will be filled there. Thank you very much.”

Through the unexpected challenges of a delayed start to their spring semester and transitioning to online classes, Minyeal and Byung Kyung have faced adversity with grit and resilience, learning to bounce back from difficult situations. There’s a famous saying in Korean culture called “hwaiting,” which means “you can do it.” Your generosity motivates these two young men to pursue their dreams in the midst of a global pandemic. Thank you for giving Minyeal and Byung Kyung the strength to get through their studies, day by day, by cheering them on saying, “You can do it.” 

Minyeal says "I will do my best to work hard."
Minyeal says "I will do my best to work hard."
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Byung Kyung loves to read & relax on the weekends
Byung Kyung loves to read & relax on the weekends

Paying for college without the parents’ help can be challenging. For our two college scholars, they support themselves by working jobs outside of being a full-time student. Byung Kyung and Minyeal are both at a Divinity college in Daegu, South Korea, majoring in Applied Music. As they were wrapping up their fall semester, we reached out to ask a few questions about what they enjoy doing on the weekends and how their studies are going. 

You can read how thankful they are to KKOOM supporters, all answers being translated into English. 

Byung Kyung’s Answers

1) What do you enjoy most about college? 

  • The good thing is that I'm so happy to be able to do new things with new people.

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

  • On the weekends, I relax and read. 

3) What is the most challenging thing about college?

  • I worry about what the future holds. 

4) How does the scholarship money of 700,000 KRW (~$600) help you pay for school or does it help you with living costs? 

  • It is very helpful as I don’t worry about paying for college expenses as much. 

5) Do you have anything you would like to say to your “Dream” group supporters? 

  • Thank you for always remembering and supporting me. I am so grateful for the small changes in my life that have resulted from small donations. Thank you. It is a great pleasure for me to feel supported by you.  

Minyeal’s Answers

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

  • I love singing a lot on Saturdays and Sundays. 

2) What helps you study? 

  • I enjoy doing group study with classmates. Listening to worship music helps me study and going to a cafe by myself to get quiet time or to study with friends. 

3) What is the most challenging thing about college?

  • If you know a little about basic theory musically, you learn more of it over time. But, the theory is still very difficult. 

4) How does the scholarship money of 700,000 KRW (~$600) help you pay for school or does it help you with living costs? 

  • It helps pay for living expenses. It is also helpful for learning and buying textbooks. I always appreciate it. 

5) Do you have anything you would like to say to your “Dream” group supporters? 

  • Thank you for the scholarship! The amount of money you support really helps me. Thank you for helping me focus more on my school life. 

The small things in life give us hope. It gives us strength to get through the big moments of life. It’s the small acts we take every day towards our goals which helps us grow and learn better. Whether it’s giving $10 or supporting our college scholars with a $100 monthly donation, your giving makes a difference. Thank you for supporting these two young adults to follow their dreams, one small step and one day at a time. 

With gratitude, 

Grace Lee, Chief Administrator

Byung Kyung is grateful for your support!
Byung Kyung is grateful for your support!
Minyeal is a worship leader at a church in Gumi
Minyeal is a worship leader at a church in Gumi
Minyeal enjoys studying by himself & with friends
Minyeal enjoys studying by himself & with friends
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Organization Information

Korean Kids and Orphanage Outreach Mission

Location: Jonesboro, GA - USA
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @koreankids
Project Leader:
Aimee Jachym
President
Portage, MICHIGAN United States
$75,214 raised of $95,000 goal
 
1,317 donations
$19,786 to go
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