To capture, create, preserve and share the stories of the Korean American experience by supporting and promoting storytelling
Mike Kim was born in Korea but grew up in the United States. After struggling to find a job during the 2008 recession, his cousin invited him to live in Korea for a year. Initially intending it to be a temporary move, Mike eventually sold all of his belongings and has now been living in Korea for the past 14 years.
Since moving to Korea, Mike has constantly taken visiting friends to good restaurants, which ignited his passion for exploring and trying new Korean cuisine. Today, he has founded a food tour business that provides tourists with a delicious Korean food experience. Through food, he wants to share the beauty of Korean culture with as many people as possible.
Albert Kim was born in the US and spent most of his childhood in Orange County, California. Attending a private school with a small Korean population, Albert had a tough time dealing with the microaggressions of his peers and fitting in at school, challenges he faced for most of his childhood. While studying at Arizona State, Albert decided to move back to Korea, where he finally felt more comfortable and accepted– feeling at peace for the first time. Albert believes that his identity as a Korean-American has allowed him to be more well-rounded and empathetic as a person, especially towards other minorities that face discrimination.
Born in the US, but having grown up in Korea and attending an international school, Eunice Lee never felt fully Korean or fully American as a child. After a swimming injury, Eunice discovered musical theater as an outlet for her creative energies and eventually went to NYU for it.
Going to NYU after living in Korea for most of her life, Eunice faced difficulties with culture shock, assimilation, racism, and homesickness. Nevertheless, Eunice was able to find her niche through a Korean church and Korean American society. As someone who identifies as neither fully Korean nor fully American, Eunice carries a unique Korean American identity, as well as unique perspectives on Korean and American culture.
Michael Song moved to Korea at the age of 22 after experiencing difficulty finding employment in the US. Born and raised in LA, Michael was immediately immersed in Korean culture upon starting full-time work in the country. This experience went beyond culture shock, providing Michael with an understanding of his parent’s immigration experience in the US and a new context for decisions they made when he was younger. Now, Michael strives to find a balance between his personal journey and cultural and societal expectations.
Born and raised in San Jose, Aaron Choe always knew he wanted to reconnect with Korean culture. In high school, he discovered 90s K-pop, which sparked a curiosity that eventually led him to visit his sister who lived in Korea. Aaron fell in love with the country and ended up moving there permanently in 2008. Since then, Aaron’s been living in Korea as a film director and DJ. Making sense of his identity, Aaron has fully embraced his Koreanness and encourages others to move there to truly experience the country.
Born in Busan, but raised an adoptee in Iowa, Zach Benson grew up looking and speaking differently from his mainly white peers. Zach struggled with fitting in and participating in class until he discovered a passion for breakdancing in high school. When Zach was 23, he came to Korea to learn more about his heritage and search for his birth mother, with whom he was finally able to reconnect. Zach later moved to Daejeon, where he worked as an RA at a Korean international school, to spend more time with his birth mother.
"Happy Cleaners" is a feature-length film produced by KoreanAmericanStory.org about the Choi Family trying to keep their dry cleaning business afloat in Flushing, Queens.
K-Pod is a podcast series dedicated to the stories of Korean Americans in arts and culture.
ROAR Story Slam
The ROAR Story Slam is a live storytelling competition featuring the best Korean American stories and storytellers across the nation.
Join us for our Annual Gala where we celebrate and honor three special trailblazers in the Korean American community and enjoy great entertainment.