Mrs. Meela Lim and Dr. Woong Kim (Parents)
저는 소위 대학 잘 보내는 명문 여고에서 교사 생활을 10년 이상을 한
한국의 교육 현실을 너무나도 잘 알고 있었던 두 아이의 엄마입니다.
저의 큰애가 중학교 1학년 때 우연히 이 유학 시스템에 대해 듣게 되었습니다.
전부터 유학을 생각한 것도 준비한 것도 아니기에 무척 고민이 되더군요 .
하지만 무엇보다 믿음이 있는 분들이고 안전하며 정말 사랑과 정성으로 아이들을 대하는
모습에 감동받아 큰아이를 보내게 되었고 3년 후 중 3 이던 둘째 까지 보내게 되었습니다.
저는 제아이 뿐 아니라 PCS 학생들의 항상 밝은 표정을 잊을 수가 없습니다.
한국에서 그저 교실에서 갖혀서만 보내야 하는 중고등학교 시절을
저렇게 활기차게 의욕적으로 보낼 수 있는것 만으로도
저는 충분히 유학 보낸 목적을 이루었다고 생각합니다.
거기에 큰 꿈과 열정, 자신이 해 낼 수 있다는 긍정의 마인드
그리고 주어진 것에 대한 감사함까지
우리 아이들이 유학 후 새로 부여받은 교육의 효과입니다.
Ms. Naeun Lauren Kim, PCS Graduate of 2010, Valedictorian
Northwestern University, B of Sc, Kellogg School of Business
(Study abroad: Seoul National University)
U of North Carolina, Ph D candidate
미국에서의 유학생활은 제 인생에 큰 전환점이 되었습니다.
13살이라는 어린나이에 가족과 집의 울타리를 떠나게 되었지만
피오리아의 호스트 가족들은 제게 새로운 부모님, 형제, 친구들을 만날 수 있게 해주었습니다.
힘들 때 기쁠 때 아플 때 항상 제 곁에 있어 주셨던 수 이모 덕분에
유학생활 중 별다른 외로움을 느끼지 못한 채 집에서처럼 관심과 사랑을 듬뿍 받으며
성장할 수 있었습니다. 또한 피터 삼촌께서는 중학교때부터 체계적인 아카데믹 프로그램으로
ACT 및 GPA 관리를 해주셨고 다양한 extra curriculum 활동에 '리더'가 될 수 있도록
지원을 아끼지 않으셨습니다. 덕분에 저는 고등학교를 수석으로 졸업하였고 다양한 클럽 및
학생회에 리더로 활동하고 봉사 할 수 있었습니다. 무엇보다도 좋은 대학에 들어가는 것은 물론
저에게 리더로서의 열정과 꿈을 키울 수 있는 기회를 주신것에 매우 감사합니다.
I came to the United States at a very young age of 13. Filled with uncertainty and unfamiliarity, I was desperate for emotional and academic support that will help me assimilate and thrive in this new environment. Little did I know, Mr. and Mrs. Kim provided all my needs, more than I ever expected. Mrs. Kim made sure that I was paired with the most caring and loving host family. As anyone who studied abroad would know, the sense of emotional stability that you get from your family is priceless. Without hesitation, I would say that my host family became my second family, and I cannot thank them enough for the emotional support I received from them. Academically, Mr. Kim made sure that I would excel in school and perform to my fullest potential. Since 7th grade, Mr. Kim provided an academic program that would strengthen my GPA and ACT score. Not to mention his connections with admission officers from prestigious universities, Mr. Kim pushed me to aim higher and get accepted to my dream school. My experience in Peoria undoubtedly helped me to become a leader with serving heart and not to be afraid to take challenges.
Mr. Hyukjun Dan Kwon, PCS Graduate of 2011
College of Business, Cornell University
(Study abroad: National U of Singapore)
I would say my four years at Peoria Christian School was the peak of my youth. I succeeded in getting good grades, making many friends and steping up to a grown-up world. It was all possible with a help and care from faculty members at Peoria Christian School including Peter Kim and Soo Kim. Exhausted and stressed about Korea’s failed education system, my family and I decided to apply to American boarding schools after I graduated middle school in Korea. I was one of those typical Gangnam-raised kids who were following the usual pathway to American boarding school as well. I actually applied to few boarding schools located in East Coast but my parents changed their mind at the last minute to send me to Peoria Christian School, worried I would feel timid in big boarding schools. Especially in a foreign setting and they wanted more strict supervision and continued interest and attention on me. It is true that United States has many world-respected schools and well-constructed education curriculum and system but the things you watched and read in a lot of media about teens could be true as well. A great number of Korean teens leave the country to pursue their academic dream and goal but fall for drugs, drinking and promiscuity because they lack parental supervision and attention. My mentor and supervisor at Peoria Christian School, Peter Kim and Soo Kim, defended me thoroughly from these worries with their unconditional love and care. I believe the key to be successful at studying aboard depends on how much one’s engaged to new American community and school. The engagement to school and close-knit relationship with schoolmates and teachers will make you easily adapt to new environment and not make you feel left out in an absence of your family and friends back in Korea. Peoria Christian School is relatively small private school and student body and teachers are very friendly and caring. For example when I was in high school, an U.S. history teacher would spend their weekend to give extra studying session for Korean students as a thoughtful consideration for students who are lacking background knowledge of American history. Managing all aspects of my life Mr. Peter Kim always communicates with the teachers regarding students’ assessment and participation in class. My college applications reflected schools support and engagement thoroughly. The numbers aren’t all in American college admission process. Your college applications will display how unique and bright you are through extracurricular activities and recommendation letters. Top college admission gets competitive every year and SAT scores, the number of 5’s in AP tests, GPA could be almost the same among the kids who are prepping for top tier schools. Your uniqueness needs to be displayed from schools support and attention and that will be reflected in your college applications. I was very successful at college admission. I received ‘yes’ letters from the most respected and competitive schools including, Cornell, UC Berkeley, UCLA, USC, NYU and Emory. I want to thank to Mr. Peter Kim, Ms. Soo Kim and Peoria Christian School for their support and love.
Mr. Y. S. Kim, PCS Graduate of 2013
Industrial Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology
As I look at my five years at Peoria Christian I can’t help but think of so many Events that happened which shaped my life. I was just a middle school Student who came to Peoria Christian. But with my families’ support, Peoria Christian’s home-like community, and Mr. Peter and Mrs. Soo’s guidance and leadership I am truly thankful to be where I am today.
In my formative high school years, although I was an introverted person, and in many ways I still am, I experienced so much and learned so many things in my life. I became active in varsity sports, served in the student council, founded and led the Model UN team, and tutored math and science to my peers at school and taught out in the community, most notably the Peoria Dream Center. I was first introduced to the Dream Center when I was a tenth grade student. It was through a summer session leadership program when we were connected to underprivileged students in the inner city of Peoria. Touched and challenged at what I experienced there I became a regular tutor throughout the year for ACT and math. It was touching to be a source of hope for students who never even considered college as part of their future. Through my time with them, I became more thankful for my family’s support and what it means to help others who are less fortunate. It was humbling to be a vehicle of hope for them.
One of the most cherishing moment in my life was the week I spent in Hong Kong when our school team, the PCS Chargers, became the United States representative at the Polytechnic University of Hong Kong’s International Business Plan competition. Our team of three senior students spent close to a year in preparation for the competition. Out of numerous teams around the world, we were selected among the semi-finalists and as a result our trip to Hong Kong was fully paid by Poly. U. of Hong Kong. While at the competition we experienced so much and “lived so much life” like what Mr. Peter says. At the last night’s banquet, we were pleasantly surprised to win an award for the life-style division and a prize of $1000. It was an unbelievable life-experience that will never be forgotten.
Academically I was challenged to push beyond my comfort zone to work harder. I didn’t quite understand it but now that I’m actually in university I am thankful for it. In my major of Industrial Engineering where G Tech is the most highly regarded university in the US, the work is both rigorous and demanding. I see that I needed to work hard in high school for the opportunity to be admitted to this school and to distinguish myself among my peers. When Mr. Peter connected me to a scientist at the United States Department of Agriculture scientist, I was somewhat hesitant. But through that summer internship and the following year-long research course I developed a fuller sense of independent learning.
I will always look back on my years at Peoria Christian fondly with a thankful heart. And, in a special place in my heart, there exists my life-long relationships with my friends there, teachers and staff of PCS, and most of all for Mr. Peter and Mrs. Soo’s passion for me and my peers.