L.A. Middle-schoolers Test Knowledge of Korean American War Hero

UC Riverside’s Young Oak Kim Center launches YOK Quiz Bowl April 19.

Young Oak kim and flags of the United States and South Korea

UCR’s YOK Center will host the YOK Quiz Bowl in Los Angeles on April 19.

RIVERSIDE, Calif. — Los Angeles middle-school students who read “Unsung Hero: The Story of Col. Young O. Kim” will test their knowledge of the Korean American war hero in the first YOK Quiz Bowl, presented April 19 by UC Riverside’s Young Oak Kim Center for Korean American Studies. The program will begin at 2 p.m. at YOK Academy, 615 South Shatto Place, Los Angeles.

The book is an English translation by YOK Center director Edward T. Chang of the Korean title “The Beautiful Hero Young Oak Kim,” which was written by award-winning journalist  Woo Sung Han. Its publication was celebrated at YOK Academy in April 2011. Many students there read the book as part of the Los Angeles Unified School District’s Accelerated Reader program.

The YOK Center will present a $500 prize to the first-place winner of the contest, and $100 and $50 gift cards to Staples for second and third place, respectively. The top 50 students in the quiz show will win a trip to the YOK Center at UC Riverside.

Dr. Myung Mike Hong, owner of Dura Coat Products Inc. in Riverside, who helped launch the YOK Center, will address the middle-school students before the competition starts.

The event comes on the eve of the 20th anniversary of the Los Angeles riots, which began April 29, 1992.

“We hope to raise awareness of ethnic diversity among young students and hope the quiz show will help inspire them to learn more about race relations,” Chang said.

“Unsung Hero: The Story of Col. Young O. Kim” is available on Amazon.com and from Barnes and Noble.

Col. Kim is revered in Korea and by Korean Americans. A highly decorated U.S. Army veteran of World War II and the Korean War, he was the only Korean-American officer in a mostly Japanese-American unit in the Army. He earned numerous decorations from the United States, Italy, France and Korea, and became a role model in the Los Angeles community after his retirement from the military. He helped found the Go For Broke Monument in Los Angeles that honors the U.S. military service of Japanese Americans during WWII, as well as the Japanese American National Museum, the Korean Health, Education, Information and Research Center and the Korean American Museum.

The Young Oak Kim Center is one of only a few in the United States to focus its research on questions such as what it means to be a Korean American in the 21st century, the history of Korean Americans, the Korean diaspora in the United States and globally, and the role of Korean Americans in the reunification of South and North Korea.

The curriculum at Young Oak Kim Academy emphasizes and stimulates student interest in science, technology, engineering, and math careers.

Media Contact


Tel: (951) 827-7847
E-mail: bettye.miller@ucr.edu
Twitter: bettyemiller

Additional Contacts

Carol Park, YOK Center
Tel: 951-743-7517
E-mail: carol.park@ucr.edu

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