Over the past seven years, Mi Jung You’s services have been essential to the success and expansion of the Hodori Program at Korean American Family Service Center (KAFSC). Her expertise, commitment, and creativity are a fundamental part of the development and administration of an expansive, culturally sensitive community-based program.
Mi Jung truly understands the obstacles of the Asian American immigrant community; her lived experience as an emigrant of South Korea gives her special linguistic skills and the cultural awareness to provide meaningful assistance. On average, ninety percent of the Hodori Program’s participating children are either first generation immigrants themselves or children of immigrants, primarily of Asian origin, so Mi Jung’s ability to transform her experiences into quality programming is invaluable.
Under Mi Jung’s guidance, the Hodori Program has become more than an afterschool program but a pillar of support for families and children. The Hodori Program provides creative enrichment activities and academic development programs focused on building self-esteem, effective communication, and life-long social skills. While the program that Mi Jung has helped to shape accomplishes much in terms of combatting the pitfalls present for many new immigrants, Mi Jung reaches beyond her classroom space to impact the lives of those she serves. She contacts the teachers of youth participants and encourages them to build a strong foundation of trust with students and parents. And in addition to her Master’s degree in Counseling Psychology, she became a Licensed Mental Health Counselor in 2011 to better serve children and the community. She provides counseling guidance and clinical supervision to teachers and counselors so that they, in turn, can help to create a more comfortable space in their community.
Mi Jung’s unique ability to relate to those she serves on such a deep level can be critical to changing the outcome of a child’s life. The widespread impact of Mi Jung’s empathy is sure to echo in the success of those she’s touched for a long time to come.