Volunteers and Interns

Volunteers and Interns

volunteers and interns!!

Volunteers and Interns are essential to the success of our programs. 
Good Neighboring Campaign (GNC) usually announces volunteering and internship opportunities as needed, which offer a great chance to support Asian immigrant families to be active citizens of America. 

If you have any questions on volunteer and intern at GNC, please contact us at 770-452-8039 or email: gnc@goodneighboring.org.

 

Reflections on 2013 Summer Internship

 

Rachel Kim, Junior at Johns Creek high school

I wanted to have an internship at Good Neighboring Campaign because I wanted to be more involved in the Korean-American community. I also wanted to learn more about running a non-profit organization because I wanted to broaden my career choices and experience new things that would give me more insight into making informed choices about my future. 

Now that my internship at GNC is coming to a close, I’m really glad I worked here for a couple of months because I gained all the experiences I hoped for and more. 

Firstly, I learned that the characteristic one needs to run a successful non-profit organization is selflessness. One has to care for others much more than one’s own material success. I have realized that it is these sorts of people that I should really look up to. 

Secondly, I also am glad for the working experiences I had, because I have never had a “job” before and it was new for me to do desk work as if I was an actual employee. I think it helped me learn how to concentrate on one task without getting too distracted (which typically, I am very bad at.) 

Thirdly, I gained communication skills that I would not have gotten otherwise without this internship at GNC. I had to make calls to several non-profit organizations in order to inquire about internship opportunities, and at first I was really nervous because I never had to speak on the phone on the behalf of an organization. But after a couple of calls I realized that there was nothing to be scared about because the people I talked to were really nice and friendly, and they didn’t judge me for stuttering occasionally. 

I named all the good things I learned at GNC above. However, if I was to do this internship again, I wish I could go outside and do some “field work” or participate in more GNC activities or interact with the community more instead of being at a desk all day. However, the fact that I am not able to drive probably got in the way of doing so.

Overall, I’m really grateful that I had this opportunity. I’m glad I got to spend my
time here in order to help a greater cause and I look forward to being more involved in my community in order to change the society around me for the better. I am also thankful I met people that supported me and taught me a lot during my time here.

Although I can’t say for sure that I will pursue the non-profit sector as a future career, I think I know for sure now that career choices should be made not based on my material well-being but what I can do for others while still pursuing my passions.

 

SeRi Jhang, Junior at Johns Creek high school

I wanted to have an internship at Good Neighboring Campaign because I wanted the experience in which I could share my skill in helping the Korean community relate to the American community more. 

While interning at Good Neighboring Campaign, I received 2 articles of the recent American news to translate them into Korean every week. I learned that the purpose of the translating the articles into Korean was that it could help the isolated Korean community to have the broader outlook of the American society which they were placed in. I was able to relate to this purpose more due to my mother who had a hard time adapting herself to the American society.

Although translating these articles sometimes took a great amount of time and frustration, I believe these factors have helped me to manage my time more wisely and not to mention inherit and rebuild some of the lost Korean language skills I have forgotten while living in America. I also have been more globally aware of the American society’s situation and started to acquire the habit of informing myself of the happenings in and around the community. 

As a rising Junior, this summer was a time for myself to really get ahead of myself and have a broader outlook of this world while thinking about my future; while interning at the Good Neighboring Campaign, I was able to build the skills of cooperating with others and not to mention understand to realize that one of my bad habits, procrastination, will get me nowhere if I were to work in the real world. And in coping with the other schedules and the internship, I have also became more diligent and developed to force myself to complete assignments even when I wasn’t in the “mood” to do so.

There are obviously goods and bads; disadvantages and advantages to everything one might do while working under the society’s hands. However, the bads and disadvantages I noticed while interning at the Good Neighboring Campaign were inspiring ingredients that helped me become more mature under certain circumstances and more knowledgeable in terms of the scope of the American and Korean community and society. 

Not to mention, I am very thankful that I have met many wonderful people who also contributed their time and shared their knowledge and skills to improve the lives of the isolated Korean community by helping them participate in the American society. The one-month internship at the Good Neighboring Campaign at first seemed long, but as I write this reflection I realize how blessed I am to have been part of this campaign and grateful of Mr. Lee’s kindness and guidance to help me learn so many things in such short period. 

Seong Su Kim, Junior at Northview high school

Good Neighboring Campaign was a great internship opportunity for me to be a part of in the summer of 2013. I have never heard of the campaign before and it comforts me to know that there are men and women out there that truly care about Korean immigrants in the United States.

It is a non-profit organization so the people that work for this program don’t even get paid which attracted me to even further. My pastor, one of the most influential and respected man in my life, asked me if I wanted to intern and informed me about the program which I didn’t hesitate to say yes to. 

During the internship I did a variety of things from creating address labels to translating Korean titles to English. I liked how I got to work under Mr. Lee and Pastor E.J and help them to prepare for the upcoming year in volunteer opportunities and CLPY. I learned how to create address labels through Microsoft Word and that was a whole new experience for me. 

The entire process of creating the labels and mailing them took a while, but if GNC benefits from it in anyway, I would be more than happy. The only part I did not like or liked the least was driving all the way down here to Atlanta from Johns Creek (about 30 min drive). I learned a lot about what an internship is and I’m glad I got to know the GNC. This will definitely help my in my future and I can confidently do many tasks that I have learned through this intern.

Reflection on 2011 Summer Internship

Two intern reporters (Gahee Lee, HB Cho) worked at KAmerican Post during last summer (June ~ August, 2011). The following are their reflection on internship at KAmerican Post.

<HB Cho, University of Georgia graduate>

I really did not know what to expect from my internship at KAmerican Post. I was constantly traveling in the West Coast as part of my job at a nonprofit organization in the spring semester, so I had to rely entirely on email and phone conversations to search for an internship in the summer.

I knew that KAmerican Post was an internet-based news organization catering for the Korean American communities around the country, and the articles on its website were focused on social and political issues, unlike some other prominent Korean American media outlets I was more familiar with, which typically take a broader approach.

I was very interested in political mobilization and community service, so I was excited to work there. But what I just described was nearly the full extent of my knowledge about the organization.

The day after I came back from Los Angeles late May, I was in the KAmerican Post office learning about the newspaper and the organization behind it. KAmerican Post was the media arm of a community organization called Good Neighboring Campaign (GNC), which stimulates Korean Americans to get politically and socially involved in local communities.

The driving force behind it was a remarkable man, Mr. Sunny Park. He came to the United States in the 1970s when he was in his 30s with absolute nothing, and started doing whatever he could to make ends meet.

Purely out of drive and magnetic personality, Mr. Park became one of the most financially successful and politically well-connected people in Atlanta. His was a really quintessential American Dream success story. He founded GNC to address what he saw as a big problem in the Korean American community: isolation from the "mainstream" society, even among 2nd or 3rd generation Korean Americans.

As a source information to stimulate and assist Korean Americans to learn and think about ways that they can get involved, KAmerican Post carries stories about important social and political issues in the U.S., prominent Asian Americans and any other information useful for successful involvement and integration of Korean Americans in the American melting pot.

It started in 2009 and publishes around 10 articles each week with average readership in several thousands. I was one of two summer intern reporters along with Gahee Lee, an Emory University student.

As a relatively new outlet, KAmerican Post was experimenting with incorporating social network and other visual media like videos. As an intern reporter, my background and training in video production came in very handy.

I was able to work on every different aspect of the organization, from researching and reporting to video production and social network promotion. I also got to help out GNC with its various programs.

After the briefing and a few hours of discussions with KAmerican Post editor Mr. Joshua Lee, my first task was to write an article about a prominent Asian American. That would be a relatively easy task for me to complete and an opportunity for Mr. Lee to see my workflow and writing style. ‘I should be smooth sailing,’ I thought, and got right on to the job.

I decided to write about Cabinet Secretary Chris Lu, because not many people know about him although he is a key member of President Obama's core decision making group. There are a number of Asian Americans in key posts in the Obama Administration, and most of them are fairly well known.

I spent several hours researching about him, and wrote about his life and beliefs. It was easy, I thought, and I was more confident than I probably should have been. It actually took multiple revisions before I got the final O.K. from Mr. Lee. He flat out rejected my first draft and told me he didn't need a simple chronicle about Lu's life, because people can find that on his Wikipeida page. He told me that every article should have a punch, and articles that don't have no place on his publication.

I got back on researching some more about Chris Lu. He was successful lawyer and later political advisor before he joined Obama's Senate election campaign, but he was a relatively young guy and hasn't been in politics for very long.

So little more was available online than what I had already found. But I digged a gold nugget out of mud and found a very personally relatable interview Lu gave about the 2009 presidential inauguration day. He described the feeling of being in his tiny White House office for the first time while celebrations were taking place outside and calling his mother. Emotional, paternal, such very Asian thing to do, I thought, and that was just what I was looking for.

Mr. Lee seemed remotely happy with the addition, but he still didn't find that "punch." Upset and feeling defeated to some degree, I got rid of the entire article and reviewed all the information I had to rewrote the article from scratch. People say the first one is always the hardest, and it was certainly the case for me. I didn't anticipate that my first article would also be the most memorable, as well.

Once Mr. Lee OK'd my article and it was posted on the site after many revisions(above article), I received a surprise email a couple days later from none other than Secretary Chris Lu himself, saying he enjoyed reading my article and I was a good writer.

Then it hit me, 'why didn't I interview this guy?' I did not give too much thought about actually interviewing him because after all, he must be real busy being the cabinet secretary and all, and probably never heard of my newspaper with few thousand readers. Obviously he wouldn't have time to be interviewed.

As it turned out, I overlooked the power of online media, that it can reach literally anyone, without having to be nationally recognized, and it can very well serve its niche audience. I responded that I admired his drive and pursuit of his beliefs, and asked if I could interview him if I write about Asian American leaders in the future. He said he'd gladly do it.

Working at KAmerican Post also taught me the importance of community. I got to write stories on various topics like the importance of municipal voting and community service. Talking with community leaders and organizers helped me develop a keen sense of the the intertwined nature of local, cultural and political communities, and the importance of action to build stronger communities that can be inclusive and powerful.

Working at a relatively smaller and younger news outlet with a great vision like KAmerican Post was a tremendous opportunity for me. It has allowed me to touch upon and learn about every aspect of online-based news outlets and their potential as a very effective communication tool.


<Gahee Lee, Emory University>

Lights, Camera, Articles

When I lived in Korea, I used to work as a child actor for KBS- the country’s largest TV station. And with each visit, I never failed to “accidentally” stray to the news wing of the building.

Fawning over the Teleprompters and neatly stacked papers, I dreamed of becoming an anchor myself. Since then, ten years has gone by- ten years of dramatic changes and transformations. But through it all, my interest in the field of journalism remained. It was actually what brought me here to Atlanta, to attend Emory University.

Among other things, I had been drawn by the proximity of the CNN center and the possibilities that it offered. From the start, I knew I was not exceptionally gifted at writing, that I was probably at a disadvantage for being an immigrant whose first language was not English.

But I did know that I loved to write; it was how I expressed myself. Thus, when I came across the opportunity to be an intern journalist at KAmerican Post, it seemed only natural that I seize it.

Little did I know that being a journalist demanded so much. The glamour of researching and attending exciting events quickly faded as the weekly deadlines and constant edits overwhelmed me.

Watching the day go by as I sat in front of my computer, only to ultimately come up with a new word or two, was frustrating to say the least. Lost in my desperation, I often found myself imagining myself typing out words as I would, keys on a piano.

So what kept me going? What made it worth it? The actual process of writing.

Once I began to really write the articles, I became so immersed in wanting to see where the article would take me- or I would take it- that everything else became trivial. Words became like the different sections of an orchestra: all serving a unique purpose but working together to, hopefully, create a masterpiece.

As the writer, I assumed the position of a conductor and consequently had the power to wield readers to different directions. There were so many possibilities to be orchestrated.

Of course there was also the motivation that I was working for a real, applicable purpose- the goal of helping Korean immigrants adapt to the American culture. Had I sought to do the internship for my own selfish reasons, I probably would not have gone through with it.

But since I had had first hand experience of the difficulties of immigrant life, I had felt a moral obligation to do what I could, even if it was just by sitting in front of my computer, writing articles.

Though I had joined KAmerican Post with the intention of helping others, I feel as though I have gotten more out of it than I have given. I am grateful for having had the opportunity contribute to society while doing what I love most.

I am a little pencil in the hand of a writing God who is sending a love letter to the world. -Mother Teresa

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