On Saturday, December 6, 2014, CKA and our co-sponsor the League of Korean Americans (LOKA) came together to provide a space for conversations between successful, accomplished KA leaders and young people in the DC metro area. Our goal was to sow seeds in young minds that will bear fruit as they develop and grow. In that sense, the day was a great success. We found much fertile ground.

We have all heard the proverb, “It takes a village to raise a child.” This means that children must have a variety of influences, beyond their parents, to grow up well. In today’s job market, the same holds true. The challenges and opportunities that come with a meaningful career are becoming increasingly complex. Therefore, young people need to be exposed to a variety of mentors who can guide them. This is even more true for leadership. As a Korean American community, our ultimate ambition is to raise leaders. This means villages must be willing to nurture, invest in, and challenge their young people as they grow.

This collaborative effort with LOKA, a 1st generation civic organization, and the Korean Embassy was a success. We also received special help from the US-Korea Institute at Johns Hopkins. Held on a Saturday from 10am to 2pm, the total number of attendees easily topped 100, including 15 mentors, 80 mentee-participants, the board members of LOKA, Embassy and Consulate staff, and Korean media.

The day was divided into four sessions. In each session all fifteen mentors met with mentees in small groups like this one for 30 to 45 minutes.

Click here for a full list of participating mentors.

Click here for the full slide show of pictures. Photographs provided by Taeck Jang Photography.