I’m Eastern born, Western bred with a global vision to transform our world for the world’s poorest girls. My journey began in South Korea. I was born into a wealthy family but my destiny changed abruptly when my father passed away. I was only seven month old and overnight, I became poor because I was girl. In fact, all the women my father left behind, including my mother, were not worth anything without him.
But my destiny changed, again. With nothing but courage, my mother moved us to the United States, and here, I met Barbara Crocker – a model of women’s leadership. She valued me for who I am and mentored my potential. Not by words but by action, she took me to the projects of Houston, Texas, to serve the poor. There I learned that I, a poor immigrant raised by a widowed mother, can make a difference in my community, my world.
I continued this journey and everywhere I went – across the urban slums of America to extremely impoverished communities around the world, I saw the same picture. From gendercide to child marriage to the Taliban acid attacks to those wanting an education to sex trafficking…girls are not valued. Their fundamental human rights are violated every single day.
Also along this journey, I found other women like Barbara who held my hands and helped me realize my leadership potential to a gift I can, now, give back to our world.
Today, I’m the Founding Director of 4Girls GLocal Leadership (4GGL). 4GGL envisions a world where every girl’s inherent worth and leadership potential is recognized, providing every girl the opportunity and resources to empower herself and change her world. 4GGL is not just an organization but a social change movement to value and invest in the world’s poorest girls.
Today, I am leaving for Pakistan to bring this vision to 30,000 girls there. I realize the danger but I also see an opportunity to transform an extreme nation through girls – girl power.
We have to accomplish the possible in order to touch the impossible (Simone Weil). Women who held my hands and changed my destiny have made 4GGL possible. My gift back to our world is to help 600 million girls in the developing world realize the impossible – their voice matters, they are valuable.My Story: Holding Hands