Why are we pledging to KASF?

We are pleased to announce a recent pledge gift of $500,000 to the Korean American Scholarship Foundation (KASF) from an anonymous donor, which is the largest gift KASF has received to date and in time to celebrate its 50th anniversary. With this gift, $300,000 will be used to award scholarships for our Northeastern Regional Chapter and $200,000 will be used to award the most qualified students from the pool of applicants from the rest of our regional chapters over the multi-year period.

Below is a personal statement from the donor regarding his decision to donate to KASF:

Why are we making a pledge to KASF?

First and foremost, it’s because my family believes in the importance of higher education and we want to help in meeting the financial needs of Korean American students seeking higher education. My family’s desire to do so is closely aligned with the mission of the Korean American Scholarship Foundation (KASF). KASF is well established and has nearly a 50-year history and an excellent reputation as the only nationally organized scholarship foundation which serves the under-resourced young Korean American students.

I had a firsthand opportunity to learn a lot more about KASF’s mission, its available resources, and scholarship allocation process by spending some time with the KASF National Board Chairman as well as NERC leadership and their young professional board members. And it is through my interactions and dialogues with them that I became impressed by their boundless passion, dedication, and service.

I realize that philanthropy is a very personal thing. Each person and each family have varied perspectives and goals on philanthropy. In case of my family, given my family's own Korean heritage and given where we are in our life-cycles, we decided to make a lasting commitment to do what we can to help better and empower the lives of Korean Americans.

We genuinely want to see more Koreans do well, assimilate, and succeed in all professions so that over time, Koreans can become stronger as a group economically, culturally, and politically in this country. My family feels deeply honored and privileged to join the existing ranks of board of directors, volunteers, donors, and supporters of KASF, and we look forward to many years of fruitful association.

Donation from Mr. Tae Jin Kwon

KASF National Board is pleased to announce recent commitment of $250,000 from Mr. Tae Jin Kwon, first president of NERC.

Mr. Kwon announced at the NERC director’s meeting in Jan 15, that he would donate $50,000 yearly for five years. This year, out of his 1st installment, $30,000 will go to NERC and the other $20,000 will be available for use by other regions. This is in addition to the Chair Scholarships he had previously established for NERC in 2001 and 2008. For his continued dedication and commitment to KASF, he was awarded KASF NB Lifetime Service Award earlier this year

In September 2018, Mr. Kwon helped to establish the Mountain State Regional Chapter (MSRC), which includes five states, and he donated $25,000, 1st Chair Scholarship to this newly founded chapter. Mr. Kwon lived in Denver for 17 years before he came to New York 30 years ago.

Mr. Kwon majored law in Sungkyunkwan University in Seoul, Korea and he received his J.D in Ohio Northern University Law School. By the time of retirement as an attorney, he attended New Brunswick Theological Seminary. After he was ordained as priest by the Korean Presbyterian Church Abroad in 2008, he served as a publisher of the Christian magazine, 빛과 사랑 until May, 2018. During his tenure of publisher he has traveled many countries, including some of African countries to help Korean missionaries in the areas.

Mr. Kwon currently lives in New York with his wife and has two sons and one daughter.