The IgniteNextGen 2021 Summer Fellowship Program is essential to the mission of developing young emerging leaders in the Korean American community by fulfilling the following program initiatives:
- Fellows will have a deeper understanding of what it means to be Korean American through history, culture, and current events.
- Fellows will learn to be more confident and mentally resilient.
- Fellows will learn critical skills that will prepare them for success in the workplace.
- Fellows will connect to a virtual community of peers and engage with a broader network of program faculty and mentors.
- Fellows will gain professional insights from the most established Korean American leaders in their field.
Matthew Ahn is an upcoming senior at Berklee College of Music dual-majoring in music production and engineering and contemporary writing and production. He is the president of two student clubs including Korean Culture Student Association (KCSA) and K-POP Initiative (KPI), sharing and pushing forward the culture, music, and business of everything Korean. Matthew hopes to meet many new hyungs, nunas, and dongsaengs in different areas of the world and build meaningful relationships!
John Baek is an incoming JD candidate at AUWCL (Class of 2024) and has been serving as a member of the Board of Directors, Privacy Officer, and a team lead of the nonprofit startup Keep. id / Team Keep since last summer. He began working part-time at Whole Foods in January. John enjoys reading, listening to music, writing, and playing basketball. He wants to improve his leadership and networking ability, not only in preparation for law school but also for his future as a Korean American professional.
Connor Choi will be attending UCLA for Computer Science and Engineering. He likes to play video games and listen to music. Connor hopes to connect more with his Korean American identity and make connections with new people.
Ryan Chu is a student at University of California Irvine double majoring in Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering, aspiring to eventually work for NASA or the Department of Defense. He is currently assembling and testing Lithium-ion batteries as a researcher for the UC Irvine’s Department of Physical Sciences. Ryan loves music, photography, and videography so he devotes his free time to practicing guitar and piano, shooting wedding photos and videos, or serving his local church’s Media Ministry. From this conference, Ryan hopes to make long-lasting connections while also learning from the perspectives of leading professionals in their respective fields.
Soma Chu is currently planning on double majoring in Sociology and Asian American Studies and hopes to work for the Asian American community in her future work. In her free time, she loves to read and draw. Through this fellowship, Soma hopes to meet new people in this field that can inspire and educate her.
Ellaina Jung is currently a junior at the University of Virginia studying economics and poetry writing. She loves writing angry reviews on letterboxd, lecturing on queer theory to small children, and sighing in art museums. People often call her eccentric, brilliant, visionary, self-aggrandizing, etc. though she’s not sure what the last one means. Ellaina is passionate about transformative justice and ethics of care, and she is looking forward to learning new skills that will help her in future projects regarding those passions.
Min Jung is a recently graduated senior who will be attending Case Western Reserve University this fall. She plans to major in Biomedical Engineering with a concentration in biomechanics. During her free time, she enjoys playing the violin, jogging, and skateboarding. Min hopes to establish her identity as a Korean American leader and to make new friends from this fellowship.
Serena Ji is based in Los Angeles, CA and works in social media marketing. She loves traveling, live events, plants, and dessert. From this fellowship, she hopes to become more engaged with her Korean identity and learn skills to help her excel at work.
Nara Jo is currently interning at a law firm that specializes in immigration law and preparing for law school. As she continues her education, Nara hopes to study the practicality of our legal history, especially in the ways it has affected immigrant and marginalized communities. With this, she looks forward to addressing likewise questions through this fellowship and engaging in stimulating conversations that will guide her towards greater awareness and advocacy.
Caroline Kim is an undergraduate student at Claremont McKenna College, pursuing a BA in International Relations and Economics. She is interested in developing her own voice on international matters and is passionate about fast fashion, human rights, and sustainability. Aside from academics, she enjoys painting to lo-fi music, upcycling clothes, and trying new restaurants/cafes! Through this fellowship, Caroline hopes to gain leadership skills and civic awareness! Most importantly, she looks forward to meeting fellows and mentors!
Danny Kim is a rising second-year law student at the University of California Hastings College of the Law. He plans to pursue a public service career and hope to use his legal education to represent indigent individuals. Danny applied for this fellowship because as a Korean American himself, and with a mother who teaches sociology of Asian Americans, he hopes to connect with Korean Americans in his own hometown whose goals align with his own.
Hannah Kim is Korean-American who grew up in France and Korea, studied law and ended up becoming a product designer. She would like to connect with fellow INGers who are interested in pivoting into a career in tech and empower the future design leaders of our society.
Hyunmin Kim is pursuing a Masters in Public Administration at American University. His work in undergraduate has been dedicated to understanding what the Korean- American and AAPI experience means to other students and the community. Through this fellowship, Hyunmin hopes to gain more experience and insight into the needs of our community and how best to serve them.
Iris (Yi Youn) Kim is a writer and recent USC graduate living in Los Angeles. She writes about Asian American identity, politics, and culture. Her work has appeared in NYT Tiny Love Stories, Slate, TIME, Business Insider, and Zora. She hopes to connect with Korean American peers and mentors who are passionate about social justice and disrupting our current systems of inequity.
Isaac Kim is an incoming junior at Boston University studying Finance. In his free time, Isaac loves to snowboard and practice kendo. From this fellowship, he hopes to develop his critical thinking and public speaking abilities.
Jaeson Kim is a rising third-year at UC Berkeley studying neurobiology in hopes to become a physician. A little more about Jaeson: he is living alone and has been forced to do his own groceries. As such, he’s discovered a secret talent: cooking. Through this fellowship, Jaeson hopes to be challenged and learn a little more about everyone else.
Jenny Kim is a first-generation college student at UC Berkeley who has recently switched majors from Molecular Environmental Biology to Society & Environment. She became enamored by biology and its applications due to the CSU Fresno biology and zoology courses that were offered at her high school & due to her personal life goal of pursuing a career that aids others, Jenny declared a biology major in order to pursue medical school. However, due to many factors (e.g. financial constraints, physical and mental health, personal goal reflections, etc.), she switched majors and is now seeking different career paths that align with this life goal of hers along with some of my other interests (e.g. technology, bridging the digital divide, equitable education opportunities, wealth-health equity, etc.) which she hopes to learn about during this fellowship.
John Kim has 5+ years of leadership experience in strategy, finance, and startups. Currently, John is a consultant at BCG. Previously, he helped build crowdfunding (GIVE.asia) and autonomous vehicle (BlueSpace.ai) startups. He is passionate about using technology to improve inequitable access gaps in society. In his spare time, John likes to play basketball, cook with his wife, wearing his cowboy boots, and empower the next generation of Korean American leaders.
Josh Kim is currently interested in pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Symbolic Systems with a concentration in Human-Computer Interaction. Outside of academics, he is an avid ice hockey player who also does street and nature photography in his free time. Over the course of this fellowship, Josh hopes not only to gain valuable leadership skills but also to better understand the importance of his Korean-American identity as he navigates the next chapters of his life.
Lauren Kim (she/her/hers) is a third-year student at the University of Florida. She grew up in the Chicago suburbs and is currently pursuing a public relations major. Through this fellowship, Lauren hopes to meet new people, while also building connections and skills that will help her in the future.
Michelle Kim is a young professional marketer working in the contemporary art industry in New York City. She is eager to connect with like-minded Korean Americans from various parts of the world and bounce past learnings, generate new ideas, and finetune our respective crafts with one another.
Rachel Kim is an Asian American Studies major that has done work for community leaders in both the public and private sector. She hopes to learn more from the speakers as well as to gain connections with other leaders passionate about serving their communities.
Seoho Kim is a rising junior at Yale University studying Computer Science and Economics. He currently serves as the Co-President of Korean American Students at Yale (KASY). In his free time, he enjoys singing with his a cappella group (The Yale Alley Cats), working out, and watching sports of various kinds, especially college football. Through this fellowship, he hopes to explore the role of his Korean American identity in his life more deeply, develop and apply professional skills, and forge strong friendships and connections with other Korean Americans like him.
Allison Lee is a graduating high school senior. Next fall, she will be attending the University of California, Santa Barbara studying Financial Mathematics and Statistics. Hannah is also interested in public policy and economics. She hopes to gain more leadership experience, makes lasting relationships with both her peers and mentors, and explore her identity as a Korean American during her time in the IgniteNextGen fellowship.
Claire Lee is a rising junior who is studying political science at Pepperdine. She is also a second-generation, Korean American who was born and raised in Southern California. Claire has a deep passion for learning, and she enjoys listening to (and sometimes engaging in) intellectual discussions in the realm of humanities/government/history/etc. Claire hopes to connect with a broader scope of Korean Americans and their stories through this fellowship.
Justin Park is currently a student interested in healthcare, policy, and sustainability. He hopes to better connect himself with his Korean American background through this fellowship. Justin also wants to learn how to find ways he can start contributing more to his community.
Kristy Park is a rising junior at Northwestern University studying Communication Studies and Asian American Studies. She is interested in immigration rights as well as the intersection of race, gender, and class in Third Worldism. In her free time, Kristy loves to play the cello in ensembles, taking walks with her dog, and mountain biking. Through this fellowship, Kristy hopes to create relationships with others who share her Korean-American identity and to develop leadership skills she can use in the future to help marginalized communities and to create social change.
Sun Woo Park is an incoming Graduate Student majoring in Asian Studies at George Washington University’s Elliot School of International Affairs. He previously studied History at Emory University and graduated with Highest Honors for his thesis, titled “Exiled East: Kim Dae Jung at Emory” which focused on the history of US-South Korea Relations during the late Cold War. He is a naturalized immigrant who hopes to pursue a career in foreign policy and serve both the United States and the Korean American community to the best of his ability. Sun Woo hopes to gain better networking abilities as well as professional insights by Korean American mentors and leaders by attending the IgniteNextGen Fellowship!
Juhwan Seo is a Ph.D. Candidate in Sociology at Cornell University, where he is affiliated with the Asian American Studies, Latinx Studies, and Feminist, Gender, & Sexuality Studies Programs. He studies how U.S. immigration policy shapes the family formation of queer immigrants and how ethnic businesses employ low-wage immigrant workers. Previously, Juhwan organized with the New York Immigration Coalition and co-founded the Harvard Ethnic Studies Coalition.
Joann Shin is a rising sophomore at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) planning to double major in Public Affairs and International Development Studies. She is interested in addressing houselessness and educational inequality, learning about US-East Asia relations, and taking action in response to the refugee crisis. Through this fellowship, she hopes to meet like-minded individuals and strengthen her identity as a Korean American.
Lucas Shin is a Computer Science Major and Math Minor at Middlebury College, where he also plays point guard on the men’s basketball team. When he’s not on the court, Lucas loves to go on hikes with his dog and spend time with friends. Over the next several weeks of this fellowship, he hopes to develop his professional skills and establish relationships with some of his Korean American peers.
Tim Shin is a recent graduate and is trying to pursue film. He’s not sure where life will take him as he starts to enter the real world, but he is excited to grow and reach his potential. One thing Tim wants to take from this experience is to be able to lead and have a better sense of his identity in today’s society and culture.
Yoo Ra Sung
Yoo Ra Sung is a first-generation immigrant and college student. She is currently a sophomore at Brandeis University, but she will be transferring to Stanford University this fall. As a History and International Relations double major, she is passionate about Korean diasporic and Asia region history, and transnational gender politics. Through this fellowship, Yoo Ra looks forward to meeting other civic-minded Korean Americans and gaining professional development skills to help guide her post-undergraduate career.
After pursuing a range of professional experiences in the Asia region, Bohesa’s interests are currently international development, human security, and public policy. She is most interested in understanding how to identify and creatively address the policy gaps which most significantly impact vulnerable and underserved communities. From this fellowship, Bohesa is very excited to learn about the diverse sectors and career paths of other Korean Americans—particularly as she believes that the solutions of the future will rely on leaders who can make connections and draw upon ideas between fields and industries.
“Some skills I learned were public speaking, research, networking, and communication with others. I will definitely employ all of these skills I learned to any projects or work I do in the future.”
“Thank you for the most amazing summer! I did not get the internship I wanted. But this program was 1000x better!”
“I have begun to understand that there isn’t just a single story of being Korean American and that there are other experiences – I’ve begun to rediscover myself and others.”
– You do not have to be Korean American to be eligible for this program. However, due to the program’s focus on Korean American leadership, Korean Americans are strongly encouraged to apply.
– Fellows are expected to spend approximately 6 – 8 hours per week for online sessions and office hours. An additional 2 – 3 hours weekly will be required for group projects or to complete assignments in preparation for each session or workshop.
– Applicants will be notified no later than May 21st, 2021.
– The full program schedule including session topics, speakers, and times will be available three weeks prior to the event and sent to fellows as a digital program guide.