HINES WARD HELPING HANDS KOREA ESSAYS * Jamie Boyd
Before I start with my essay, I want to thank everyone who has helped make this trip possible, because I know this trip will change someone's life like it did for me. Hines Ward is a wonderful mentor that I will look up to and walk his ways to help kids like myself. My name is Jamie Boyd, I have lived in S. Korea for 18 years with my mother, and now I'm living in Spokane, WA. I'm a student at the Spokane Community College.
My first trip was 3 years ago with 7 other kids. That trip had a huge impact on my life. During the trip I was so excited that I was in America and to see Hines Word again. But after the trip I really wanted to come to America to study. In other words, I wanted to find my father and come to America. So I decided to ask Miss Bay for help. She was really happy to hear that I wanted to go to America and study. Next step that Miss Bay took was contacting a Priest at a Gonzaga University who has helped Amerasians for past 30 years. Father Carroll asked me about the information I knew about my father, which was his name, old address and an old phone number. A few weeks later I got a phone call saying they found my father and that he is willing to do all the paper works for my citizenship. I was so excited to know that my father is willing to do the paper works. My father and I did all the paperwork, and I got my Citizenship on July 3, 2008 right before my 18th birthday.
A few weeks after I got my citizenship, I packed my bag to come to America. I was scared to leave my mother. I got to Spokane, WA on August 8th 2008. Right after I got here I studied for the G.E.D to go to a Community College. I got my G.E.D, and now I'm a student at Spokane Community College, majoring in cosmetology. I want to be a successful hair designer, who can help someone who is in need.
This is a wonderful trip to give a chance for us to learn about America and to know that there are so many people who care about us. I know this 4th trip will give someone great inspiration to do their best to achieve their dream like Hines Ward did.
I am very thankful for the help Hines Ward has given me. Hines Ward supported me and other Amerasians a lot. It was 3 years ago, when I first met Hines Ward. I saw him on TV crying actually. He was crying, but he looked very blissful. He was interviewed, because he was the MVP of the Super Bowl. At that time I did not know about him and the Super Bowl. I listened to the news carefully. One announcer said that Hines Ward is half black and half Korean. I was very curious and shocked after I heard that. He and I had something in common, so I was very happy. I was moved by his heart-moving life story. He lived a hard life ever since he was a child, and he lived with his Korean mother. I could connect to him very well, because his life is similar to mine. I was born in Korea and grew up there before I came to America. I lived with my mother and my sister. Although my family live in a difficult environment, I always had a dream that someday when I grew up, I will be a successful person. When I first saw Hines Ward on TV, his successful story inspired my dream and led me to come to America to continue on my education. I came to America a year ago. It is amazing, and I still can't believe it. Before meeting Hines Ward, I did not really want to find my birth father. However, after meeting him I decided to find my dad. It was my one and only dream to find my dad and come to America. When Hines Ward invited me and other Amerasians to America, I was so happy about it. It was my first time visiting America, so it was unbelievable. If he did not invite us to America, I wouldn't even dream to come to America and study. That trip just enticed me, and now I am here in Washington studying hard to be success. Hines Ward motivated myself to be here and affected me a lot. I will be visiting him on October 23rd. This is my second time visiting him in Pittsburgh, and once again I really want to say thank you to him. Through this trip I will have fun with my friends and learn a lot of things. If I become successful person like Hines, I will do the same thing that he did. Become an icon to Amerasians and lead them to be successful.
Han Min Hyeok
Many half-blood humans went through unreasonable torture and racism, which was not an exception for me. As a result of racial discrimination and prejudice, I believed that my life was superfluous and futile. However, after the appearance of a man named Hines Ward, my life started to change. I will talk about how Hines Ward greatly influenced my life and how much I have changed through him.
I was born between a Korean mother and American father, which gave me a lifelong tag called "Half-blood". Growing up in Korea as an Amerasian child required a painful life caused by prejudice and racial discrimination. Kids poured ridicule on me and adults thought that being half-blood itself is reprehensible. Thus, other kids made the wrongs, but their parents blamed me. In these results I asked myself, "What have I done wrong? Why do people hate me?" but I couldn't find an answer. Moreover, as I became older, prejudice became stronger and people became violent towards me. These events made me very timid and wary towards people, which led me to believe that I am nobody and my life is superfluous. But after I heard about Hines Ward, my heart started to change. The life I lived was painful enough to make me think negative towards the world, which made me believed that half-bloods cannot be successful in this society. However, in 2006, a man named Hines Ward who is half Korean and half American was broadcasted in the news for being the MVP of the Super Bowl game. This brought a great impact to Korea. Many Korean's misconception towards half-blood changed dramatically, and people started to receive us and understand us as part of them. It was a dream for me that an Amerasian can also be part of the society, but by this event, my dream was about to come true. As a result, I gained hope and courage which made me believe that I can also live my life in pride and that I am also part of this world and I am not a superfluous being.
After time passed by, I gained an opportunity to meet Hines Ward by a group called Pearl S. Buck. Hines picked 8 kids from Korea for trip to America, and I was one of them. My heart fluttered with excitement by the thought that I can meet my hero, who changed my heart from inside out. Moreover, it was my first flight, which made me extra exited. As I imagined, he was a great man, who had the strength to overcome the pain that he went through, and had the hope to gaze upon the future. He went through the same pains and sorrows just like the other half-bloods. But he was strong, and he did not give up. He showed me through himself that if I try my best for the things that I want to do, I will succeed.
At the last day, he told me, "Never give up, Your special. Never be controlled by others but you control yourself". I will never forget this sentence. He lighted my life and gave me a hope to carry on. A timid little boy who believed that he would always be by himself, now stands straight towards society with the hope given by Ward, lives his life with pride
Hello. My name is Minjung Kang, and I am a junior at the Department of Visual Design at Chungju University. Thank you so much for inviting me. I am writing to thank you and tell you about myself.
My father is an African-American, and my mother is Korean. My father returned to his country before I was one years old, and I have been living with my mother for 21 years since then. There were many multiracial children around me when I was Young, because I lived close to U.S. air force base. So I didn't know I was "different" from other Korean kids. I just knew that my father is American and thought the color of my skin was chocolate like my father's. But when I started elementary school, I realized that I was different. I was shocked and felt so much stress because my classmates whispered about my appearance. First I wanted to hide my curly hair, so unlike my classmates'. I ended up wearing hats for all six years of elementary school, but kids still bullied me. I went to a middle school where those kids did not attend, but I was still ostracized for being different. My middle school teachers only told me to stay quiet and not cause trouble. Then I started high school, and my first teacher cared about me a lot. I began studying hard and my grades improved afterwards. What I had really wanted to study, since I was young was, art, but I couldn't afford art lessons.
But one day a Pearl S. Buck Foundation teacher found me a sponsor, and I was able to take art lessons and make it to the Visual Design department in my present school.
Last August I went to United States, my father's homeland, through the Fatherland Tour program organized by Pearl S. Buck. I was there for less than a week, but I saw and felt many things. I also thought about my future. This time, I will once more get a great opportunity to go to the States by your invitation. I am really looking forward to going to the States, because I think this trip is not just trip, but another chance to take a step toward to achieve my dream.
From this trip, I feel hopeful through meeting you and the time I will spend with you in the States; will make me have the opportunity of enriching my experience. Also, my plans about the future would be changed to the concrete. I'd like to say that I really appreciate you giving me such a great opportunity. I want to become a famous designer so everyone would know my name, Minjung Kang one day.
Right now I am slow and awkward like a child first learning to walk, but I will do my best, imagining myself walking the summit. Please wish me luck. Thank you very, very much.
Kim Dong Kyu
Hello. my name is Dong-kyu Kim in Pearl S. Buck. This is my first invitation to US, and I really thank Pearl S. Buck and to Hines Ward for this great opportunity. First, I want to introduce myself briefly in this letter. I was born as an Amerasian between a Korean mother and an American father.
As many other half-blood children do, I also went through harsh elementary, middle, and high school years. Just because I had a different physical appearance, I became an outsider among the students, which led me to have passive characteristics. However, though my environment was harsh and I had the chance to go astray, I believed that being adapted to the society and having a perverse mind would lead me towards failure. This mentality drew me towards success, being a college student who majors on archaeology by 80% scholarship. This scholarship relieved our family from financial stresses.
When you first visited Korea, I was also there. We had a brief talk to each other, and I received your sign, but I am not sure if you remember me. Our school teacher and students loved your sign, which made me attach your sign on the bulletin board for the whole school year. By this time, people encouraged me to be successful like you.
Because I was also raised by my mother alone and had discrimination for being a half breed, your life story was a great strength to me when I was exhausted and tired. I found many things in common between you and me, which gave me an answer to tide over a difficult situation. By these reasons, meeting you face to face will be an exceptional moment for me.
I was exempted from the Army because of my mixed blood, which leads me directly to society after graduating college. In this point of view, going to US and meeting you, and also experiencing the world will be a great opportunity for me. Also, you awakened me to the great fun of football, and in this trip I heard that we will be able to see your game!
I am very excited about this.
I want to learn more about English and Japanese so that I could study more deeply on archaeology, or become a history teacher. I once again thank you for this awesome opportunity, and please root for me so that I could do well throughout my life. Thank you.
Park Da Young
Hi! This is Diana, a girl who went on the Hines Ward Trip last November. My life changed after I went on the Hines Ward Trip. First of all, I was so happy to met my role model, Hines Ward. Before I went to the Hines Ward Trip, I always said to myself that I want to become like Hines Ward, because he is role model of bi-racial. And finally, I saw him, and I even had a conversation with him. I was so excited! I always asked myself how can I become like him? But now I actually figured it out. I should think positive and be proud of myself that I am a bi-racial.
When I was on the Hines Ward Trip, Hines told us that we are not different, but we are special people, because we are bi-racial. I got really touched when he told us that. Yeah, that is so true. I know by then. I even figured out that is how I should act if I want to be a great bi-racial and role model of bi-racial. I think I should be proud of myself that I am a bi-racial. So now I can say to everyone that I AM A BI-RACIAL, AND I AM MORE SPECIAL THAN OTHERS, BECAUSE I AM A BI-RACIAL. I can say to everyone like that! I realized that how much blessed I could get and I am going to get because I am a special person. Because I am a bi-racial.
I met all Pearl S. Buck teachers, sponsors, and friends. Also, I had a chance to go to the States which is my second home-country. But most important thing is there are a lot of people who care about me and pin their hopes on me. I won't take these things as a burden. I will take all these as blessings. I have the greatest people in the world so I could have a dream and I can dream about my vision. I can't and I am not going to give up my vision for them and for myself. I know I can succeed my vision. Hines Ward Trip made me sure about all these things. I really thank them!
While I'm writing this, I can't stop smiling. I am really happy to live as a bi-racial, and I can feel when I get blessed from God. I really can feel it. I am so excited for this year's Hines Ward Trip. I already went last year, but I know I will learn more new things from this trip so I can't wait until I go there.
I was little young and I love to watch football games, so I was excited about the football game the most last year. But last year, I could get more big things from there. I got vision, hope, and also a new family. I am so excited about going to head office of Pearl S. Buck Foundation. I bet my heart might be full of deep emotion when I go there. Also, I can't wait to see Hines Ward, all friends I met, and my host family! I am really missing you all. I will show how much my heart and mind has grown up to you all. I want to receive more hope, vision, and potential of my life from this year trip. I will answer my expectations to you. I love you so much, thank you, and see you soon!
With Much Love,
*Park Kook Haw
Hines Ward. This name is really important to me because many things are changed.
First, my life, I was living without a goal. But this changed when I met Hines Ward. Finally I have a goal. That is to be the best with my dreams and to my family. Second. my character, I was unsociable people. But you gave me the confidence and sociable ability. But now I get near to the person and be a friend. Also I'm not afraid with other people's eyes. Third, my thinking, in the past I was too confused with "who am I", I'm Korean?? American??" I can't have the answer. But now I know, I can be Korean and also American. This answer was from you. Fourth, my family, I didn't realize the meaning of my family. But I saw your mother and realized my family always takes care of me and is worried about me. Also I regret that I made my family sad. So I'm going to do my best with that. Because of you I can change lot a things and be right person. Thank you so much giving me the straight direction. Please give the confidence, dreams and a purpose for the other people who are just like us.
It has already been a year since I went my first trip to America. I was so happy I still feel like it was a one night dream. Obviously it really did happen, and it was not only about going to America, it was about getting invited by the world famous MVP football star Hines Ward. That excited me and made me nervous at the same time. Because I've been told there will be a lot of flashlights, video cameras, and the interview requests mostly to the elders. Since Diana and I were the eldest of all, it was a lot of pressure. I took remaining days at home worrying and couldn't realize that I was barely prepared and practiced at the last moment getting off the plane. I didn't really have any other options except dive in to the whole different world.
I somehow managed it, and after one of the other interviews I could see myself speaking louder and clearer even in front of the camera. That was the unbelievable improvement of myself who was always too shy to call my closest friends over the phone. Something and everything about the trip changed me inside. I also could take it as a quest to test my grammar, whether I pronounce the words correctly by talking to people, especially my host family, and it certainly influenced my studies. It made me concentrate on English a little more and instead of memorizing a bunch of vocabulary words, I started practicing speaking.
The most important thing that I've learned is that I recognized I was stuck in such a small world and believed that's all there is. When something goes wrong I always made excuses of being only a half breed and was occupied on self-pity and blamed my mother for some reason.
By being apart from my mother and to take care of things on my own helped me a lot to learn how to handle the situations. Also for the first time in my life, nobody stared at me while walking by, and it was such a special experience. I have to be stared by in Korea just because I look a little different, but now I know there is a larger world out there I am not special at all. Now I feel like I opened both my eyes and my mind.
I no longer feel alienated. Now I know how many opportunities there are. Now all I have to do is try. The Hines Ward trip made me realize how my world would change. I am very glad and pleased that I can go to America once again this October. I can't wait. If the last trip was the chance to see what I've been missing through my life, this time it will be the chance show how much I've learned from last experience. Thank you once again to Hines Ward and Pearl S. Buck.
Hines Ward Essays
HINES WARD HELPING HANDS KOREA ESSAYS * Jamie Boyd