Jae Hyuk Choe

Name

Jae Hyuk Choe

Age

25

Location

Northern Virginia

Occupation

IT Consultant

Own Words

I stumbled upon this site while Googling “Korean-Americans,” and was intrigued by the idea of an entire site dedicated to showcasing many different Korean-American profiles. Some immigrated to the United States, some were born and raised here in the US. I for one was born and raised in the states. But to this day, I ponder what it means to be Korean-American. In the past it was just a broad, unclear concept in which if you were born and raised in the states you were automatically labeled as a Korean-American. But that truly isn’t the case anymore.

My parents immigrated the United States. My father arrived first, followed by my mother. They came in hopes of finding a better life and pursuing their dreams. It wasn’t an easy road for them. I remember the hardships, sacrifices and devotions we had to endure while living in the states. Of course nothing starts off easy, one has to endure and be tested to one’s limit before seeing the fruits of one’s success. I vividly remember my parents working endlessly at a carry-out store Monday through Sunday to support the family. I remember as a kid I really wanted to stay home after school, but instead I had to go my parent’s workplace. Work supported my sister and I with schoolwork, encouraged us to study hard and succeed so that we could have a bright and successful future. As a kid, I wouldn’t have cared so much about such doctrines, all I wanted to do was play video games and eat. But fast forward to the present, it becomes very clear how my parents wanted us to go to college and succeed in life.

Even to this day, my father cannot help but recollect those vivid memories of what he and my mother have gone through. The good, the bad, the interesting all mixed into what we call life. Sometimes I would not pay attention, but nowadays I pay close attention so I that I not only understand, but physically embrace everything my parents have done and sacrificed just so my sister and I can do better.

To this day, I have done what my parents have dreamed of me doing; I have graduated from college and got a degree. Currently, I’m employed at a big IT consulting firm.

But deep down I am still yearning to have a better understanding of what it means to be Korean-American, and not just blatantly accept a definition from some site or an opinion from someone else. So far my life has been a journey to understand myself better, and to this day the journey continues. Hopefully I’ll meet fellow Koreans and Korean-Americans throughout my life that will perhaps help me find the answers that I’m looking for.

All right, it’s back to work for me. I am happy I stumbled upon this site. If you’ve taken the time to read this, I thank you. Best wishes.

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