Sam Kim, the son of first generation Korean immigrants, started his life in southern California, but went on to live in South Korea his sophomore year in high school. Knowing that his uncles and father had served in the South Korean military, it was not surprising that he served as a communication airman in the U.S. Air Force after high school.
He spent his four-year enlistment in South Korea, maintaining combat readiness against North Korea. Upon receiving an honorable discharge in 2005, he attended the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, to pursue a Bachelor of Arts in education.
While in college, he became a founding member of the Student Veterans of America on the University of Michigan campus and helped see the Post-9/11 GI Bill become a reality. After graduating college in 2008, Sam began teaching English in Seoul, South Korea, at an international high school. While teaching, he realized that his true passion rested in international affairs, so he has decided to serve again by pursuing a Master’s degree in
Korean for Professionals at the University of Hawaii’s Korean Language Flagship Center, a program funded by the National Security Education Program.
With a higher Korean language proficiency as a bilingual and bicultural American, it is Sam’s hope to play some role, however small, to help maintain the strong relationship between South Korea and the U.S.