On May 3rd 2012, many of the Korean American students at UCSD were given the opportunity to connect with a mentor and form lasting bonds. The Korean Student Cultural Association at UCSD invited the Korean American Coalition to hold this Industry Mentorship Program and requested some of the adult mentors to visit UCSD to network with the college students. The mentors were professionals from seven different fields including Business, Finance, Law, Media, Engineering, Medical, and Politics. Round Table Pizza located at the Price Center of UCSD, which was the location where the mentorship program was held, was packed with Korean American students seeking mentorship in their respective fields.
Both the mentors and mentees entered Round Table with hopeful excitement. The president of KAC, Tae Yoon Kim stated he is looking forward to how students will take advantage of this occasion. He stated that this is an opportunity for the mentees to receive personal attention and get help to successfully get where one wants to go in the future. UCSD student and mentee Soo Wook Kim exclaimed that he was at first unsure what to do, but now has gained confidence through having intimate chats with the mentors.
The San Diego chapter of the Korean American Coalition was founded over five years ago with the purpose of gathering power for the minority and becoming advocates for the community. Former president of KSA John Pak says that KAC was founded on the principles of recruiting a diverse group of Korean American 1.5 or 2nd generations and helping them transition to the professional societies. The goal is to gather power for the Korean American minority so that they can become advocates for the Korean interests in America. For example, to increase the percentage of Asian American voters, KAC has held voter registration drives in front of Zion market. The Industry Mentorship Program is one of KAC’s regular events that attract potential entrepreneurs, politicians, lawyers, financiers, and much more. John Pak has concluded that the priority of this mentorship program and KAC is ultimately to encourage the future generation so that they can become strong fighters that believe in themselves.
Many students showed up for this mentorship program. One side of Round Table Pizza was completely packed with KAC members and participants. Current president Tae Yoon Kim says that ike it was merely the first meeting. Kim added that he hopes students realize that they are the next leaders of the next generation. He says he feels it is his and the mentors’ responsibilities to mature and nourish these mentees and prepare them. We look forward to future events of KAC and its positive effects on our San Diego community.