“We are all Americans, we are all Marylanders, we are all human beings. And when we put our knowledge and experiences and brightness together, we can thrive even more.”
When she first came to the United States, Alexandra Kim struggled to navigate a new life in a new language. Now, she helps Korean immigrants bridge that same gap as a reporter for Korea Daily.
Reporter, Chosun Ilbo USA
Country of Origin: Korea
Her journey to the United States:
Kim was born in Korea and says her parents came to the United States in search of a better life. “We always hear about America as the land of opportunity,” she says.
On her initial struggles:
“When we moved halfway around the world to the United States, no one was teaching Korean, no one was speaking Korean,” Kim explains. “There was no way for me to pursue anything related to the Korean language.” This caused her to drift away from her passion for writing and instead take up an administrative job that she maintained for two decades while raising her family.
On her switch to journalism:
After the death of her father, Kim decided to take on a part-time job that would allow her more flexibility to help with her mother and her children. “That’s when I stumbled onto the Korea Daily,” she says. The Korean media giant operates a local bureau out of Ellicott City that publishes Monday through Sunday, distributing about 15,000 copies throughout the region in the Korean language.
How she supports immigrants at work:
In her role at Korea Daily, Kim pursues her love of writing while interviewing people and covering events. She says she enjoys meeting new people and learning about their histories and lives. “I am very happy writing stories about Koreans,” she says, adding that her work helps bridge the gap between the Korean community and the broader community.
On the importance of asking questions:
“I wanted everyone from both sides – the non-Korean-speaking community and the non-English-speaking community – to ask the right questions,” Kim says. “That’s how you get the right answers. That’s how you understand what is really going on.”
Her advice for new immigrants:
Kim advises new immigrants to focus on cultural similarities instead of differences. “You have to find the middle ground and find the space where you can come together,” she explains. “We’re all Americans, we’re all Marylanders, we’re all human beings. And when we put our knowledge and experience and brightness together, we can thrive even more.”