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The Youngsoon Park Scholarship for Social Work

Youngsoon Park Scholarship graphic and headshot

SSW Alumna Honors Grandmother and Brings Awareness to Korean American Community

Image of Youngsoon Park with her dog Banny

The Youngsoon Park Scholarship for Social Work has been established by Dr. Ga-Young Choi (PhD, ’09, MSW, ’02) to honor her grandmother, Youngsoon Park. Dr. Choi credits her grandmother’s influence, along with her experience as a student at the School of Social Work, with helping her find her path in life.

Youngsoon Park (1917-2009) was a talented and inspiring storyteller. From the time of her birth until her mid-30s, she survived the Japanese colonial rule of Korea and the Korean War. Dr. Choi recalls growing up and listening to her grandmother’s stories detailing what it was like to live through these two historical periods. All of her stories centered on taking each life experience, even the adverse ones, as opportunities for learning and growth.

Dr. Choi fondly remembers her grandmother’s resiliency, curiosity, and genuine care for others. She hopes that this scholarship and her grandmother’s story inspire student recipients to develop and cultivate these qualities in themselves and others.

Beyond honoring her grandmother, Dr. Choi hopes that this scholarship will draw attention to Korean ethnicity and bring awareness to the Korean American community. Asian Americans are the fastest-growing ethnic minority in the United States, and Korean Americans are the fifth-largest Asian ethnic group. Despite these facts, Korean American practitioners in healthcare, mental health, and social services report that there are simply not enough Korean-speaking helping professionals to serve this population. Dr. Choi envisions this scholarship motivating its recipients to contribute to enhancing the well-being of this population in any way they can.

If you’re interested in supporting scholarships like this, please contact Nathan Goebel.

Image of Youngsoon Park with her dog Banny
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