On January 28, four KYCC youth—Janice Kim, Paul Kim, Aylin Reyes, and Francis Yu—were each awarded a $500 grant from the Man-Hee Welfare Foundation at a ceremony held at the Koreatown Senior & Community Center.

The Man-Hee Foundation has given $15,000 annually to low-income, disabled elderly persons and children for the last 17 years in ChoongNam Province in South Korea. This year, the Man-Hee Foundation awarded students who are working to support their families, or whose families are experiencing extreme hardship.

Recipients Janice Kim and Francis Yu are both high school seniors who work throughout the summer and school year, so as not to be financial burdens on their families. They are working towards earning their own spending money, and for paying for their graduation costs.

Junior Paul Kim helps his mother at the preschool and after-school program held at their house, while Aylin Reyes dedicates her time and effort caring for her younger brother. She picks him up from his after-school program or cooks his meals, while their mother works up to six days a week.  In addition, Aylin finds the time to volunteer at KYCC’s Menlo Family Center in the elementary classroom.

The students were nominated by their respective KYCC Youth Services program staff. “It’s often easy to forget the real struggles and burdens that our students carry in their day-to-day lives because we usually see them smiling and happy to be at KYCC,” says Vicky Chung, Youth Curriculum Supervisor. “We are incredibly grateful to the Man-Hee Foundation for the Life Grant awards.

“It was a great opportunity for us to give back a little something to the students who give so much to KYCC,” adds Chung.