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2018-01-12 Feedback and Speaking Out

Friday was a busy day!

* TNKR Senior Fellow Tony Docan-Morgan held 1:1 feedback sessions with coaches in Track 2 (public speaking).

* TNKR Ambassador Eunhee Park gave a fantastic talk at a private event at our office.

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2017-12-20 Daejin knows TNKR

So much love! On December 20, I was the guest speaker at a girl’s high school in Seoul. They welcomed me like I was a movie star.

During my speech, none of them fell asleep. Some of them were even nodding their heads “yes” when I made important points.

During Q&A, they had good questions. They had read many articles about TNKR and watched some of my interviews.

The topic was volunteerism in a global age. Some of the students say they want to volunteer with TNKR. What is clear is that these know what TNKR is and they are much more aware about issues related to NK refugees.

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I was at the center of attention, they treated me like a star!

The teachers seemed to love my speech, but they may want to clarify or explain my point that those high schoolers are usually too young to be useful volunteers. 🙂

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2017-12-21 Who was more inspired!

How often do you have a meeting, with both sides declaring, “I’m so inspired by you!”

It happened last night, when I met Rola Brentlin (recommended to me by Nigel Ashford and Kerry Halferty Hardy) during her short trip to Korea. She posted on Facebook that she was inspired to learn about TNKR.  In my case, I was inspired that she took such an interest in TNKR, and then took that interest to the next level! She wants to help TNKR with funding! 

“Inspiring meeting with Casey Lartigue Jr. who runs an organisation helping North Korean refugees. I would very much like to help them with funding, any ideas for how we could raise some funds for this important work is welcome!”

We now have more than 60 volunteers and fans who have set up fundraisers. Recently we have had well-connected people express interest in helping us build up TNKR. That is always inspiring!

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2017-12-05 Speech to high school students visiting Korea

They did the DMZ tour. They heard a speech from a North Korean refugee. They even listened patiently to a long speech I gave, and they asked many questions, too. Incredibly, none of them went to sleep, despite waking up at 5 am and spending the day at the DMZ.

These kinds of events are always fun. When the host asked me how long I could speak, I responded, “About TNKR? I can talk until tomorrow.” I was going to say until the day after tomorrow, but I guess I am getting more humble.

The kids had many questions, but they did wait until the start of Q&A to ask any.

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2017-12-02 Harvard Alumni Dinner

I had a great time at the annual Harvard alumni dinner. Former UN secretary general Ban Ki Moon was the keynote speaker. Of course I told him about TNKR, but so many people were trying to tell him about their activities that he probably won’t remember. He did compliment me, as a foreigner, for doing so much to help NK refugees.

Park Jin, renaissance man. Former national assembly member, college professor, connected with so many important people. He says he is a fan of TNKR, he always asks how things are going.

 

She’s a former Miss Korea. I gave her my card, she said she was interested in my work and that she would message me soon.

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2017-11-25 14th KOTESOL DCC Symposium and Thanksgiving Dinner

Thanks so much to Kotesol: Daejeon-Chungcheong Chapter for inviting TNKR to present at its annual symposium and Thanksgiving Dinner. Eunkoo Lee and I presented as the featured speakers at the Plenary session. Thanks so much to Mike Peacock, DCC Chapter President, for making it happen. I’m just sorry that because of our tight schedule that we couldn’t join earlier in the day.


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2017-09-29 Distinguished Global Lecture Series, “The American Known in North Korea”

I had a fantastic time yesterday, I was the speaker at the Distinguished Global Lecture Series at the Graduate School of International Studies Ewha Woman’s University. It was one of the most welcoming and active audiences that I have spoken to in quite some time. They listened patiently, interrupted me during my speech with questions, then had plenty of questions at the end. TNKR co-director Eunkoo Lee declined my invitation to join me as a speaker, but she joined during Q&A to add additional points.

Thanks so much to Assistant Professor Hannah Jun for inviting me to speak. We met earlier this year, after she learned about me she said that she wanted to invite me to speak at Ewha. And it happened yesterday!

There are many South Koreans who are hesitant to invite speakers talking about North Korean related topics, so it is a special thing to have been invited to discuss TNKR! One very eager international student signed up as a volunteer a few hours after the event.

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2017-06-27 American high schoolers visit TNKR

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Some American high school students visiting South Korea stopped by TNKR to hear speeches from two TNKR Special Ambassadors. As co-founder of TNKR, it was another beautiful moment, seeing two speakers who came to us in 2015 blossoming the way they have.

  • One if now a graduate student, the other is an undergraduate.
  • They both have improved their English a lot.
  • They have both improved their ability to make speeches. Practicing many times and working with many tutors and coaches has definitely helped them improve.
  • And they thank us TNKR so many times for the impact that it has had on their lives. Not only do they say this when they are with us, but I have heard from others that they praise us.
  • They both even raise money for TNKR! Thank you Ken Eom and Eunhee Park.
  • The students said they learned so much. It is really a great opportunity for them to learn directly from North Korean refugees the reality of that country and the challenges that refugees have when they make it to South Korea.
  • TNKR will continue making a difference in the lives of refugees and volunteers who join us.

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2017-06-12 Harvard Global Networking Night

Brag, brag, brag, that’s what people were doing at last night’s Harvard Global Networking Night. It was great, we were able to tell some influential people about (TNKR) Teach North Korean Refugees. Best of all, some of them were already familiar with TNKR!

TNKR co-directors took a break from work to join Harvard Global Networking Night. It is great to join networking events where people are expected to talk about their activities. So I shamelessly introduced TNKR! I often encounter people who are afraid that others are bragging or having a good time, so it is was fun meeting with people who want to hear about what others are doing and also want to inform you about what they are doing.

It was delightful when we met some influential people who said they were already aware of our important activities.

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