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Being Out in the Community
Empowering the
Korean American Church Community - Pt 3

Written by Hyepin Im

AM Tech University just celebrated its fifth anniversary offering undergraduate and graduate degree programs in Business Administration and Computer Science. The university was founded by Dr. Ky Chueon Kim and his wife Won Hee Kim, who also serves as the University Vice President of Administration. Recently, I was asked by Dr. Kim if I could meet with him and his wife. He mentioned that he knew I was active in the ministry and wanted to introduce me to his wife who was also active in various ministries. When we met , I was surprised and delighted to hear that God had been the one guiding the growth of Amtech University. Won Hee explained that whenever she set out to make plans according to worldly standards, God would block that path. However, at the same time, whenever she was ready to give up, God would provide miraculous resources for the school to continue. In addition, she shared that God has given her a vision for the University to be a training facility for ministers and that is the path she would like to take the University.

Hyepin  Im  
Government and Community Involvement

In addition, Hyepin currently serves on several boards. In August 2000, Hyepin was appointed by Governor Gray Davis to sit on the Commission on Improving Life Through Service that has annual budget of $34 million.

In 1995, Hyepin was also appointed as the youngest member of the prestigious Advisory Council on the Peaceful and Democratic Reunification of Korea. All members are appointed by the President of South Korea.

Last year, the University had trained ministers on the computer without charge as a service to the community. In addition, the university was also familiar in working with other communities. The University had obtained funding from sponsors to train entrepreneurs from the African American and the Hispanic community. For this service, the University received coverage in various medias including the Los Angeles Times.

At the end of the meeting, I realized perhaps God was pointing to the University as the ongoing nonprofit partner who could be facilitating the training. The University seemed to have the capacity, the interest and the focus in training church leaders. In addition, they already had the staff, the classrooms and computers as well.

I also had the opportunity to meet with Hee Sun Kim of Korean American Sharing Movement (KASM). He had requested a meeting to seek advice in seeking government funding for KASM's programs. To date, the organization had raised $500,000 to aid victims of famine in North Korea. In addition, they had been successful in sending another $500,000 worth of medical supplies to North Korea as well. Now that the organization had been successful in international aid work, they wanted to venture into also providing aid domestically. In my interview with Hee Sun Kim, I learned that Reverend Hee Min Park of Young Nak Presbyterian Church was also active in the organization and had been instrumental in getting the church community from other larger churches to be active as well. Hee Sun Kim suggested that he work with me in the upcoming workshop. KASM would provide volunteer services in contacting other churches. In addition, he took responsibility for doing the follow up calls and completing the database of churches that had expressed interest in seeking government funding. Thus, I was able to find another ongoing partner who could ensure attendance and leadership from the bigger size churches for the workshop.

I recently had the chance to meet with Myn Myn Kim, Account Executive, Korean American Business Segment for Southern California Edison. To my surprise, when I shared with her the project that I was involved with, she expressed interest in supporting this workshop with funds and other in-kind resources. Because of her business development work with the Korean business community, Myn Myn was interested in being in front of this audience. She has asked me to provide her a proposal.

I also had the opportunity to meet with K Keum, Vice President of Public Relations of Nara Bank, which has recently made some nationwide expansion through a merger. She explained to me that her position at a Korean bank was unique and demonstrated the bank's interest in seeking opportunities to work with Korean and outside communities. When I shared with K about the upcoming workshop, she also expressed interest in potentially funding this program as well.

Hyepin  Im  
Education Background

A graduate of the Coro Leadership Southern California, Hyepin, was previously with GTA Consulting Company as Vice President, and Ernst & Young LLP as Consultant and Auditor. She received her B.S. from U.C. Berkeley and her M.B.A. from the University of Southern California. She is currently pursuing her Master of Divinity at Fuller Theological Seminary.

Assembly Member Herb Wesson was elected to the Assembly last term. This year he submitted a $750,000 appropriations bill to support FAME Renaissance's work and is familiar with church economic development.

In the recent months, I have worked with Fame Renaissance to raise funds for his upcoming race for California Speaker of the House. Through my relationship with Assembly Member Wesson, I have brought to his awareness the situation of the Korean American churches and the work that I'm involved with. He expressed interest in my work and has asked me to put together some ideas on paper on how he can facilitate and support this work.

The Economic Development Administration (EDA) was created to generate jobs, help retain existing jobs and stimulate industrial and commercial growth in rural and urban areas of the nation experiencing high unemployment, low income, or severe economic distress. EDA works in partnership with state and local governments, regional economic development districts, public and private nonprofit organizations, and Indian tribes to empower communities to plan and implement locally and regionally economic development and revitalization strategies.

Through my work with FAME Renaissance, I was able to meet Wil Marshall from the EDA. Through God's grace, Wil has taken me under his wings to train me in economic development. In a recent visit by the Assistant Secretary Commerce to the Los Angeles area, Wil was kind enough to include me in the small entourage that traveled with the Secretary. In sharing my project with Wil, he expressed specific interest in providing funding of up to $1 million for a project in Koreatown that would create job opportunities. He also expressed his interest in working with me in putting on the workshop.

Click HERE to go to Part 4
Click HERE to go to Part 1 and HERE to go to Part 2

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