Heeweon Kim is motivated by her passion to raise awareness and make a difference in the lives of less fortunate children around the world. As a junior at Palmetto Senior High School, she is involved in several clubs that focus on the global needs of others.
“The fundraising that we do has such a direct impact on so many children’s lives,” said Kim. “It makes me feel great that I’m making such a big difference.”
Since her freshman year, Kim has been involved in the Interact Club, Rotary International’s youth service club that completes community service projects and fosters international goodwill. As the President-Elect of Interact Club this year, she also oversees the O Ambassadors organization, an Oprah Winfrey program designed to address international poverty. To raise money for this group, Kim organized and co-directed the school’s first Panthers Got Talent Show. The proceeds from the show totaled over $4,000 and were donated to two causes.
“A portion of the money we raised went to build wells that will provide children in South Asia with fresh water and another portion went to the earthquake relief efforts in Haiti,” added Kim.
Kim is also past president of Invisible Children United, where she focused on raising awareness and money for the children of Uganda. In the group, Eight Habits of the Heart, she is among a select group of students at Palmetto High that speaks to the freshman class on a quarterly basis about the core values of the school.
“We stress responsibility, integrity and honesty during these sessions,” she said. “We also answer questions from the freshman, mentor them and give tips for stress relief.”
Kim is also the treasurer of the Math Honor Society, Mu Alpha Theta, and designed the group’s tee shirt. She competes in all the math competitions and as a senior next year, she will be the vice president of competitions. She is a member of National Honor Society, Science Honor Society and Chemistry Crew for the Science Show that will travel to local elementary schools and conduct experiments for children. “I really enjoy learning and my family values education, so I work very hard to achieve high goals,” said Kim. “I really love my school and all of the activities and opportunities here.”
Kim was born in Korea and because of her father’s career in international business, she and her family moved around during her young life before settling in Miami.
“I’ve lived in the Philippines, Morocco and Korea,” said Kim. “I came to the states when I was in sixth grade.” Kim will spend six weeks of her summer at Vanderbilt University’s PAVE program, a pre-college curriculum designed for students who are planning to study engineering, pre-medical, science or technology.
“I’ll be with other juniors and seniors from around the country attending biochemical and chemistry research programs,” said Kim. “I’ll also take part of the summer to narrow down the field of colleges that I’m considering. My plans are to go into the medical field, in pharmaceutical sciences or dentistry.”