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“As a part of many different worlds, I perceive a unique opportunity to serve, relate, and unify people in an attempt to increase understanding between groups. It is my dream to use my passion in science to help achieve a world that sees beyond differences.”
Highlights of Young Scholar Experience: Yeojun Chun was familiar with the Foundation’s Young Scholars program thanks to his older sister who was a member of the program’s first cohort. Calling it “an amazing experience and privilege” he was able to receive a private school education, attend summer programs and take private music lessons. He spent one summer at the University of Notre Dame (ND) in South Bend participating in a program designed to engage students in science research and advanced physics topics.
Profile: “Bridging” is a word Yeojun often uses in referring to his academic success and how he views making the world a better place. Born in South Korea and raised in Indiana in the shadow of Notre Dame’s Golden Dome (yes, Yeojun loves ND football), he bridges the different cultural worlds he is a part of to “reach out to others.” Growing up in a college town, he saw how his parents and older sister helped new Korean immigrant families cope with language and systemic barriers in the United States. He hopes that his undergraduate years will help him find diverse ways to use his passion for math and science to help build more bridges between people of all cultures.
Inspiration: When he was in seventh grade, Yeojun belonged to a club called Future Problem Solvers which qualified for the international finals, held that year at the University of Connecticut. During the competition, the future Young Scholar was exposed to teams from around the globe that used math and science as the foundation to attempt to solve problems in their respective communities, be it in Asia, Europe, Africa, North or South America. “Seeing the grand and wide scope of implementation that math and science covered, I was inspired to learn more. From that moment, I found a passion that I could use to change the world.”
Aspiration: Yeojun would like to be a physics professor.
Making a Difference: One aspect of Yeojun’s term as student body president at St. Joseph’s High School was being an impromptu cultural and social ambassador for students and administrators alike. As the number of exchange students coming from his birth county (South Korea) increased, many administrators and teachers sought Yeojun’s help in reaching out to these students as a translator, ambassador, and leader.
Accolades: Yeojun has received numerous kudos over the years but most recently he was awarded the St. Joseph’s High School Community Award for service and high academic standing. In addition, the Kiwanis Club of South Bend honored Yeojun with the 2008 Sportsmanship Award for “balancing academics and athleticism.”
Interesting fact: Yeojun and his older sister Yeona, are the first sibling pair to be named Young Scholars.
City College of New York
Undergraduate Transfer Scholar
University of California, Berkeley
Undergraduate Transfer Scholar
Mount Holyoke College