~~~~~Special Awards~~~~~ Special Awards - The Korea Times


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Special Awards

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Special jury award winners

Syrian refugee Aljalaali dreams of becoming an interpreter

Syrian national Marwa Aljalaali came to Korea in October 2015 at the age of 10. Fleeing from their war-torn homeland, her family settled in the central city of Daejeon.
Marwa Aljalaali
Marwa Aljalaali
Aljalaali did not know a single word of Korean when she first came here. But she was a fast learner.

On top of her school classes, she regularly attended Korean language classes provided by a local welfare center for children. As a result of her hard work, she attained level 3 in the Test of Proficiency in Korean (TOPIK) in 2018 and then obtained the highest level in 2021. Her proficiency in Korean was proven in a nationwide bilingual speech contest in 2020 hosted by the Ministry of Education, in which she was awarded a gold medal.

Based on her bilingual skills, she dreams of becoming an interpreter in the future.

Being the eldest child of the family, Aljalaali grew up taking care of her younger brothers and sister. She is a responsible daughter at home, always supporting her parents who at times experience difficulties living in a foreign country.

Aljalaali also actively engages in various activities related to cultural diversity. She has given multiple lectures at the community center on cross-cultural differences. She is also a member of the Rainbow Choir, a choir comprised of children from multicultural backgrounds.

Teenage athlete Joeljin sprints his way to success

Born to a Nigerian father and a Korean mother, Joeljin Nwamadi, 16, is already known to many people as a teenage sprinter who has won multiple medals in local and international championships.

Joeljin Nwamadi
Joeljin Nwamadi
The first grader at Gimpojeil High School in Gimpo, Gyeonggi Province, has won five medals this year alone. Most recently, he grabbed the bronze medal in the 100-meter race in the Asian Youth Athletics Championships held in Kuwait in October.

The outstanding performance of the fast-rising sports star has been reported in several local newspapers.

The naturally gifted runner, who inherited his height from both his parents, has been passionate about running since early childhood. Nwamadi is a self-motivated sprinter who trains every day to achieve his goal to one day compete in the Olympics for Team Korea.

At school, he is a bright student with an outgoing personality. His friends praise him for his positive energy and kind attitude toward others.

Semoon Chang Award winner

Bilingual Kam shows passion for science

Kam Hyo-been, a second grader at Cheongsim International Academy in Gapyeong, Gyeonggi Province, has received the Semoon Chang Award for students with excellent foreign language skills.

Kam Hyo-been
Kam Hyo-been
Born to a Chinese mother and a Korean father, the 17-year-old student shows great diligence and talent in her academic achievements, especially in linguistics. Last year, she was awarded the grand prizes in a Chinese essay contest and a speech contest held at her school. She also won a bronze medal in an English essay contest.

In addition, Kam shows strong intellectual curiosity in science. She actively takes part in science projects and strives to complete her assignments with the best results. Her dream is to become a bioengineer.

Her leadership also stands out in her effective communication with other students. As the leader of the student council, she extends a helping hand to friends in need. In particular, Kam is interested in interacting with children from multicultural backgrounds, as she is well aware of the difficulties they sometimes go through.

She was awarded several times at school for her great academic performance and good deeds.

Korean Association for Multicultural Education Award winner

Future diplomat Minori wants to bridge Korea and Japan

Hirose Minori, a first grader at Sunjung High School in Seoul, is a foreign student from Japan. Born to Japanese parents, she first came to Korea after completing elementary school in her home country.
Hirose Minori
Hirose Minori

In the first few months of middle school, she struggled in classes due to the language barrier. But Hirose quickly learned Korean thanks to the help of her friends and her hard-working attitude.

She now speaks Korean fluently. Earlier in November, Hirose won a gold medal at a national-level Bilingual Speech Contest. The juries were impressed by her proficiency in Korea, even though she has lived here for only four years.

Moreover, Hirose shows a big interest in learning Korean culture and history. She loves to explore Korean traditional cuisine and visit historical places.

The 17-year-old girl's dream is to become a diplomat and contribute to boosting ties between Korea and Japan. She hopes to improve relations between the two neighboring countries, which have turned sour in recent years due to historical disputes.

To achieve her dreams, Hirose is studying hard to enter a prestigious university and major in politics and international studies.

Lee Hyo-jin lhj@koreatimes.co.kr

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