University of Pennsylvania
Class of 2015
Taehoon Kim’s AAA Essay:
“I began to serve as an emergency-medical technician in West Philadelphia to provide medical care for those without insurance. I visited Sorokdo Medical Center to serve as a volunteer nurse and translator for leprosy patients. This sense of determination felt liberating; I channeled such newfound energy into helping patients who faced social and economic barriers from receiving medical care. I founded Active Minds at the University of Pennsylvania in order to train student volunteers to help psychiatric patients re-integrate into society by offering them mental health support and guidance. With the support of Mental Health Association at Pennsylvania and Compeer, the project now helps twenty minority patients who inability to pay keeps them from receiving psychotherapy.
I volunteered at a primary care clinic in rural China in Hebei where descendants of Manchuria faced institutionalized discrimination and lacked financial resources to receive medical care. Moreover, I witnessed patients suffer from gastrointestinal infections and diarrhea as the villagers lacked access to a clean drinking water source. After volunteering, I founded Project 25, an organization that focuses on implementing community-driven projects with the approval of the Chinese government. I have partnered with World Vision and other non-governmental organizations in order to install a water sanitation system in the village. I will lead back student volunteers and hired engineers in order to implement such a project in the following year to give the entire village access to drinking water.
In this way, I have continually engaged in my newfound passion for aiding others by actively searching for the activities that I could perform. During leave, I volunteered at a local hospital to give children who suffered from congenital heart defects guidance. I left for Hebei and am currently volunteering as a medical volunteer in the same village, overseeing the implementation of Project 25.
This experience has imbued me with a sense of direction. I have a newfound passion for helping others. I am studying Neurobiology and Health Care Management at the university to become a physician who not only treats patients but also finds creative solutions for those who lack the resources to finance their medical treatments.