What leadership roles or volunteer experiences have been important to you during your time at Maryland?
Throughout my college years, I have been involved with Korean Campus Ministry (KCM). I have been helping to serve and work together with them in personal and spiritual struggles. In the past, I have helped in leading and organizing class events for students who are in the same year as I am. This really helped me in establishing relationships with students whom I can identify with, especially in terms of beliefs. I have also led in small group, where a group of 8-10 of different years from KCM will come together to read and study the Bible together. This year, I'm honored to be elected as the Treasurer for the organization, overseeing the financial matters and planning meetings and events throughout the school year, as well as fundraising for the organization.
Volunteer experiences have mostly oame from my church, Cabin John United Methodist Church in Cabin John, MD. Two years ago, we organized a short-term mission trip to Szechuan, China, teaching underprivileged kids English and established relationships with them. Most of the kids were directly or indirectly affected by the earthquake back in 2008. Some of them have lost their parents, relatives, a place to live, a place to study. That experience really opened my eyes and showed me how privileged I am to be able to live in the U.S., to be able to pursue a college education with help from others. I'm also determined to go on another mission trip this coming summer after my graduation, to help those who are in need, to give them the hope that there is someone who cares. Besides mission trips, I have also helped in collecting canned food for the homeless through a soul kitchen in downtown Silver Spring, the Shepherd’s Table. I have also helped to serve food there, giving out food to those who just need a meal in order to survive.
Overall, I think all of these experiences are important to understanding who I am and how blessed I am. These experiences have taught me to be grateful and give back to the community.
What has your scholarship meant to you and how has it enabled you to pursue new and exciting opportunities?
This year I'm honored and privileged to be able to receive several scholarships from different sponsors. As the child of first generation U.S. immigrants from Hong Kong, attending college is a luxury and definitely creates burdens on my family. Being able to go to college without worrying about creating extra financial burdens on my family, I am able to focus on my studies and achieving my goals. These scholarships, in a way, represent the hope and unlimited opportunities that are coming after my graduation in May.