Hi David, tell us where you’re from and how you serve with Hope for Miami.
"I was born in South Korea and grew up in southern California. I went to college at Virginia Tech and then moved down to Miami, FL in 2018 after my wife and I were married. I currently serve with the Ready4Life program at Hope for Miami as the team’s Data Manager and a Health Educator."
May is Asian-American/Pacific Islander Heritage Month. How do you think your background has shaped the person you are today?
"I was adopted from South Korea when I was 8 months old. Growing up in a blended and multi-cultural family has taught me a lot about valuing the“both/and” when it comes to relating to others. I have learned that my whole identity (and others likewise) cannot be defined solely by any one label, though there are unique parts to each of us. By embracing the both/and of my identity, I have a greater appreciation and respect for myself and others."
Does your family have any traditions that are especially important to you?
"Yes! One of my favorite family traditions revolves around whichever family member has a birthday, anniversary or “arrival day” (the day we arrived from Korea). At dinner, before we eat, we take time to go around the table and tell that family member why they are special: affirmations, encouragements, the things we have seen in them that are good andpraiseworthy. At times, I took this for granted growing up, but now I am absolutely certain that the consistency and intentionality of those affirmations shaped the way I see and treat myself and others today. "
How do you think your skills, knowledge and interests equip you to do your tasks?
"There are three major principles I have and am continuing to develop into something like a personal vision: a desire to learn, empathy, and compassionate service. I am finding that feeding a desire to learn has really helped me grow into the role as the team’s Data Manager. And as a Health Educator, I’ve found that empathy and compassion go a long, long way to opening up relationship and trust with students. I believe that is true for most people too."
Finally, tell us something interesting or fun that will help us get to know you better.
"I love food.! On my ongoing ethnic journey, I’m constantly discovering new foods and the cultures and people they are a part of! I enjoy trying new food and cooking it too. I have a passion for using food and meals to literally and figuratively “set the table” for individuals and communities to come together who otherwise might not at all; to see one another, learn from each other, and grow to value the “both/and” of our lives."
Thanks for sharing with us and for being part of our team!