National College Leadership Conference (NCLC) Scholar: Hana Kang

Each month KAC OR will highlight each of the students and their experience at the conference and provide an opportunity for them to share a little about themselves and their experience. August/September's spotlight is on Hana Kang, a student from University of Oregon.

"I went into NCLC not expecting to make close connections so quickly in a short amount of time. The people I’ve met and bonded with over similar issues and experiences was something I have not experienced in just a week before. Although I grew up with my parents always telling me stories from their experiences living in Korea to growing up in America, I don’t think I really understood what that looked like until this conference.

One aspect that really hit me was the film on comfort women and Koreans in Cuba. My dad always told me stories and informed me of the different experiences Korea went through, but that film opened my eyes to those struggles. It made me think a lot about how history classes in elementary school to high school was always so focused around U.S. history, which is important to know, but learning more about Korean history and Korean culture helped me to understand myself as a Korean American. I grew up hating history, but now I realize that it was not that I hated history, but I disliked how I could not relate to the stories. After this conference I realize now how important it is for me to know my roots and where I came from.

As a Christian, this conference helped me to connect my Korean roots to my identity in Christ, which surprised me the most because NCLC is not Christian based. I think that just shows how the conference will grow you regardless of where you are at in your stage of life. Even though I was introverted and worried that I would struggle to keep up with the others, I felt that it was a great challenge to push myself to be more of who I am. I won’t forget the peers I have met nor will I forget the speakers who really spoke into my life and I am grateful to have the opportunity to experience this."

Thank you, Hana, for sharing about yourself and your experiences at NCLC! Best of luck as you embark on your journey!