Sunghoon Kwak

Sunghoon is passionate about education and modern politics. He is involved in his region's Junior State of America, his high school's marching band and his school's Student Council. His goals for the year are to connect with the local communities of his host city, be an influential teacher in India, and to establish a great relationship with his host family. His past involving his time in the Philippines and Haiti inspire him to travel to India and assist communities.


Sampling the Bridge Year — GCY India Capstone

For my Global Citizen Year capstone project, I chose to cut up a video containing small one-second clips from several days of my bridge year. Although each clip is seemingly insignificant, as I strung them together, the collective experiences blossomed into something that symbolized my entire year; bits and pieces of memories woven into each…

12 May, 2018

A Final Toast

I’d like to raise a toast to all the people who guided us through our days here in India. You know, there are a lot of factors that go into a “thriving” year. Of course, it’s no surprise when the fellows just happen to be phenomenal. I mean look at us. Look how great we…

27 March, 2018

Days of Frustration (or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love My Country)

Near the beginning of my fellowship, my TFI mentor taught his class a lesson on self-control and choices. A simple but engaging half-hour followed. He went over the factors that we as individuals are able to control on a daily basis. Despite being several years older than the target audience of sixth graders, I was…

02 March, 2018

College as a Video Game (And the Gap Year as a User’s Manual)

Skill tree(Noun). A hierarchal visual representation of customizations a player can make to their character. Skill trees can either branch out or eventually fold back to a single point depending on the game. Skill trees are found prominently in video games, but you don’t have to be in a virtual world to realize the presence of a…

15 January, 2018

The Spice Crisis

I’m having an identity crisis. It’s an ongoing one, actually. Let me elaborate: As a Korean child living in the US, I felt that my Korean background would be something that would stay with me, but also something that would slowly fade as I grew older. As a result, I’d try to overcompensate for my…

16 November, 2017

Trial By Fire

12:33 I entered the classroom with my mentor and pulled out my notebook. It was the first day of my apprenticeship. Observation day. My Teach for India (NGO) teacher sat me in the back of the classroom and told me to take it easy. Okay, sweet. I can do that. 12:47 The lesson had progressed…

02 November, 2017

Student of Mine

How delicious is our curiosity,Guiding us through night?Unaware of the troubles that are revealed in the daylight A world achesFor a child as bright-eyed as youPain bolstered by the life the child has lived through Yet, you are still beautiful, student of mineWithin a large landscape,You are the shine But like any light, we saw…

16 October, 2017

Why I’m Such a Bus Advocate

Last year, my main mode of relaxation was driving to some of my favorite music. I would plug in my phone, turn the volume knob up to a comfortable position, and cruise down the highway everyday to school. This year, it's not much different. I find myself racing down the bumpy roads of Pune, but…

25 September, 2017


Awareness. Mindfulness. Accountability. Perspective. Engagement.  All words thrown around this week as we tiptoed toward the prospect of being global leaders. We used these words to fuel our curiosity while at a week-long session at Stanford. Used them to ignite the flame within our minds as we prepared to step into the unknown. My adventure…

04 September, 2017


When I first got to the States at just seven years old, I had no idea I would be calling it my new home. See, I had just spent my first seven years in the Philippines and was informed that we would now be living in Korea. The trip to the United States? That would…

29 July, 2017

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Sunghoon Kwak