Dr. Josephine Kim visits Seoul International School

A faculty member at the Harvard Graduate School of Education and mental counselor, Dr. Josephine Kim visited SIS on April 27 in order to give lectures to eighth, ninth, and tenth grade students. Organized by Michael Colaianni, Director of School, three different sessions took place: one for students, another for parents, and the last for faculty members. Specifically aimed to give students insight into self-confidence, Dr. Kim primarily discussed issues regarding the solidification of one’s emotional, intellectual, and social identify.

“She gave me a truly different perspective on my self-image,” said Jake Park (10). “Her analogies and stories especially allowed me to empathize with her as I came from a similar background. One of the main things that I took away from the talk was the fact that everyone was imperfect in some way, and students should try to embrace their faults as opposed to struggling with them.”

Spending her early years in Korea before moving to Chicago, Illinois with her family, Dr. Kim faced the hardship of adapting to a completely new society. Placed in a completely different environment, she had identity crises regarding her Asian ethnicity. Throughout her sessions, she claimed that sometimes as a young student she wanted to be a Caucasian. While being the only Asian kid in the region initially hindered her assimilation into the culture, she eventually accepted her differences and grew up to help others find their identity and overcome a variety of struggles by choosing to be a counselor.

“After meeting Mr. Colaianni at the August [East Asia Regional Council of Schools] conference in Malaysia, I was invited to be a guest speaker at SIS,” Dr. Josephine Kim said. “I decided to come because I wished for students in SIS to realize the importance of becoming a balanced person and so far I am very impressed with how everyone at SIS is so welcoming.”

Dr. Kim left Korea on April 28 after her short-lived stay. She will continue sharing with others the value of self-esteem in modern society, underlined by her published book “The Secret to Children’s Self-Esteem- A Handbook for Parents.”