Recipients of multicultural youth awards announced
By Lee Tae-hoon
Hwang Min-woo, a dance prodigy with a Vietnamese mother, and nine other nominees were named winners in the 1st Korea Multicultural Youth Awards, Friday.
The Korea Times organized the event to promote diversity and support talented children from multiethnic families with the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology and the Ministry of Gender Equality.
“Everyone is a winner,” Philippines Ambassador Luis T. Cruz said during a jury meeting that took place at The Korea Times, Thursday.
He underlined that each one of the 160 nominees deserves an award and that the country should make more effort to support children from different ethnic backgrounds.
The 10 winners included Hwang and Vanessa Ossy, born in Korea to a Nigerian couple named in 2005 as king and queen of the Nigerian expatriate community here.
An eight-member panel on which Cruz, lawmaker Jasmine Lee and British Ambassador Scott Wightman served, selected the two as winners of Special Jury Awards.
The inaugural award ceremony will take place at the Korea Press Center on Dec. 13.
Hwang earned the nickname “Little Psy” for his appearance in Psy’s “Gangnam Style” music video and Ossy, who has been undergoing treatment for burn scars suffered in a 2011 fire, is seeking to win her school’s speech contest in December for the second year in a row.
The outstanding elementary student awards will go to Sohn Hyun-joo and Oh Yi-seok, both of whom chaired their school’s student councils and won several major talent competitions, including major multilingual speech contests.
Sohn, whose dream is to become a pediatrician, was born to a Korean father and a Filipino mother. Her father cannot work due to illness, so her mother supports the whole family as a part-time teacher of after-school programs and at private academies.
Oh, born to a Korean father and a Chinese mother, has the lofty ambition of becoming a future U.N. secretary general. He recently won an award in a province-wide science competition and has been actively engaged in a campaign aimed at helping underprivileged children in Mongolia.
Awards for outstanding middle school students will be given to Hong Won-joo, who has been ranked in the top three in her school exams, and Lee Byung-chan, the winner of a multilingual speech contest in North Gyeongsang Province.
Hong whose mother is Japanese has been passionate about partaking in NGO projects caring for children in Mongolia, Kenya, Nepal and North Korea and dreams of becoming an aid worker at an international body.
Lee, whose mother is Chinese, recently received an offer from the prestigious Gyeongbuk Foreign Language High School.
As for the high school category, the awards will be handed to Ha Up-joon with a Taiwanese mother and Kim Kyung-min with a Japanese mother.
Ha dreams of becoming an architect, whereas Kim wants to be a career coach. Both excel at academic work and extracurricular activities.
Outstanding volunteer awards will be given to Jang Geum-sun of Chongju Foreign Language High School in Cheongju, North Chungcheong Province and Habitus, a student volunteer group at Yongmoon High School in Seoul.