Having worked for a financial firm in New York City, Michael Park, Class of ’07 decided to take a break in May 2014, returning to Seoul in order to pursue philanthropic activities. Once back in Korea, he started working for BLUEgg, a startup founded by Dino Lee, a graduate of the University of Michigan and an alumnus of Korea International School. The company developed an application, Light Up that allows users to “like” and share philanthropic content with ease. Though he was not involved in the creation of the start-up, he has brought the organization to SIS in hopes of finding a partnership with the administration, drawing from the charitable endeavors of students
“We provide a tool for individuals to, very easily, make positive changes,” Mr. Park said. “At the same time, we provide a very low cost way for corporations to get exposure to the wide public about these positive social initiatives, so that they can actually focus a significant portion of their Corporation Social Responsibility fund into the initiatives themselves.”
BLUEgg, founded in January 2014, is currently in partnership for social initiatives with LSIS, a green energy company, and Kolon Sports, an apparels company. Through BLUEgg creating partnerships with additional corporations, they can donate pencils to a child in a third world country, which is a convenient way to be charitable. The app would also give students at SIS an opportunity to make positive social changes by posting content about charitable actions that have happened in their community.
“So we think this is a very good opportunities for students, especially at SIS, to become really involved in the positive social impact initiatives,” Mr. Park said. “It costs nothing to download the app. All you have to do is make a post, and have friends who read your post. Other users ‘Light Up’ your posts and you accrue these points when others like your post and you can use the points to make actual donations on the app.”
Potential partnerships with clubs, while not official yet, have been discussed with Fredric Schneider, Dean of Schools, and Gray Macklin, counselor. The administration has however put a condition on the potential cooperation of clubs: that clubs approach BLUEgg first. However, Mr. Park believes that this does not detract from the good will of students, despite their busy lives that may hinder them from being charitable.
“Oftentimes, students are bogged down by SATs, APs, homework and classwork,” Mr. Park said. “But in the long term, it’s never too early to start something like this. It actually feels good to make these positive social changes. So we think it would be helpful for SIS students, who may not have the time or dedication to pursue such charities, for the app provides an easy way to bring attention to positive social initiatives.”