Hyun Park (F’11)
Hyun Park still remembers her first few months in the United States after her family's arrival from South Korea as ones of loneliness and frustration. She was 9 years old, barely spoke English and was acutely aware that she looked and dressed differently from her classmates.
"Despite it all, I truly think that those transitioning months were the fashioning of my self image as a fighter and doer," says the accomplished School of Foreign Service student. "It helped hone my determination and will, as well as belief in myself... There was triumph at the end, with my mastering communication at the level of my classmates within six months or so."
Pathways to Leadership
Hyun went on to graduate from high school in the suburbs of New York City with math, music and academic honors. At Georgetown, she has immersed herself in her classes and the Asian American Student Association, for which she is co vice president in 2009–10, and a grassroots organization called THiNK (Truth and Human Rights in North Korea). Hyun worked to form THiNK as a student club, bring a North Korean defector to campus to talk about his experiences and organize a fundraiser to support a Maryland- based nongovernmental organization in buying medical supplies for North Korean hospitals.
She had her pick of 10 universities on two continents but ultimately chose Georgetown because its teaching of development studies and international affairs "can't be beat" and because of the scholarship support she received.
"More than anything else, Georgetown's reputation as a leading international studies institution means that it draws in students who are as driven and passionate as I am, from all parts of the world," she says.
Hyun is majoring in science, technology and international affairs. When she graduates, she hopes to do development work focusing on energy and the environment.
"A Georgetown education is a true education in the sense of learning how to learn for the rest of your life," she says. "It adds crucial context and renders meaningful the cumulative facts that we learn about the world around us today."