Future Leaders Performing Love in Deed and Truth
2019 Talent Award of Korea winners in Hanyang
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Since 2014, the Ministry of Education hosts the Talent Award of Korea annually to recognize and encourage talented young individuals. The awards are bestowed to 100 future leaders who have proven their competence in intelligence, passion, creativity, and community spirit. Here are two Hanyang students who won this year’s Talent Award of Korea: Kim Chae-wool Chloe (Division of Industrial Convergence, 4th year) and Kwon Thai-yoon (Department of English Language and Literature, 4th year).
Life is a challenge
Kim carried off the award with her donation project for disabled children—inducing donations as she raised expenses to engage in off-road marathons. She gave credit to the donators upon receiving the award. “If it were not for their contribution,” said Kim, “I would have never achieved this honor.”
Kim designed the project by chance. When she participated in a triathlon competition as a volunteer, Kim met Park Ji-hoon and his disabled son, Park Eun-chong. “They were running together to give hope to children who are suffering from disabilities,” said the volunteer. This moment inspired Kim to initiate fundraising that could help children surmount their handicaps. To her, marathon stands for children overcoming disability.
Kim started the project by running the Sahara Desert Marathon, also known as the Sahara Race, in 2017. Her challenge continued to the Atacama Desert crossing in 2018 and the Iceland crossing this year. “I hope that people pay more attention to the issues of disabled children through my endeavor.”
Kim is moving on to her fourth journey—crossing the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT)—next year. PCT is a long-distance hiking and equestrian trail which lies to the east of the United States' Pacific Coast. The explorer will subsequently carry on with her long-range plan to tour the world with her bicycle working as a green activist. Kim is pioneering her unique way as a future leader by following her motto—“Life is a challenge.”
Do what is honorable
Kwon received the award with his contribution to people-to-people diplomacy. “I think it's too much of a prize for me,” said Kwon modestly. “I would like to express gratitude to those who work for the community in the dark.”
What motivated Kwon to participate in the field was his military service in the Hanbit Unit of the United Nations Peacekeeping Forces deployed in South Sudan. “I was in a sense of awe of what the United Nations does,” said the former peacekeeper. "However, ordinary people were achieving extraordinary things.” Kwon gained confidence and reorganized his career path through his experiences in Sudan.
After being discharged from his military service, Kwon was active in the field of national security and peacekeeping. Most notably, Kwon worked as the CEO of APOPO Korea, a non-governmental organization that trains rats to detect landmines and tuberculosis. “Although stranded due to political reasons, APOPO played a role in healing the wounds of the Korean war,” said the leader of the NGO.
Kwon made a move as a unification activist as well. Kwon volunteered at corporation aggregates such as the North Korea Reform Radio and the South-North Korea Exchanges and Cooperation Support Association. The activist plans to dig deeper into the promotion of inter-Korean relations after getting a master's degree in international relations.
“People are pursuing flex—showing off your valuables in a non-humble way—these days,” he said. Kwon advised his fellow students to do what is honorable.
Mahatma Gandhi said that the best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others. What made Kim and Kwon recognized as future leaders of Korea was not their talent, but their effort to practice Love in Deed and Truth.
Oh Kyu-jin firstname.lastname@example.org
Photos by Oh Kyu-jin
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