Ron Kim: New York State Legislature
D-Bo, Oct. 22, 2013, 2:39 p.m.
After last year’s New York state election, Ron Kim became the first Korean-American to be elected to the New York State Legislature. Kim is now offering his life story to help teenagers stressed by pressure to aim for Ivy League schools and high-paying careers. Originally immigrating from Korea at the age of 7, the Queens assemblyman has since his election has been reaching out to teens, in addition traveling to South Korea to speak to a group of students about the increasing number of teen suicides, the epidemic of plastic surgeries, and obsession with success.
Being a son of immigrants pursuing the American Dream with a small grocery store in Queens, Kim was surrounded by relatives and friends obsessed with success. Kim credits his parents for the path of public service he chose: “My parents had a very different philosophy” and “they wanted me to have the freedom to explore. I played football and went into public service,” Kim said. Kim however said that many young Americans and Koreans find a different reality, saying that ““Kids get pressure from their parents and the whole society that success is becoming a doctor or a lawyer,” said Danny Shin, senior reporter at the Korea Daily. “They should teach them to be filmmakers, artists and musicians, but they don’t think that’s success.”