Andy Kim speaks on following his career path


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Andy Kim encourages East students to follow the career path they desire and to stop fearing failure.

What do you want to be when you grow up? Does the question sound familiar? If so, you’re just like every other teenager in America. Choosing a future career at the young ages of 15 and 16 seems quite impossible as there is a lingering sense of self-doubt then. However, students here at Cherry Hill East don’t need to fret anymore as there is a career club that launched a couple months ago. Career club, started by Yahel Amsili (‘22) and Samuel Jang (‘22), hosted a meeting with New Jersey congressman, Andy Kim, on Monday, April 12th at 2:45 P.M. The session had a whopping 38 members and was a remarkable milestone for the Career club.
To start the meeting off, Kim discussed his complex career path that began after exiting the halls of East. Having an aspiration for public service and government, he worked towards bettering the state of our country through serving in Iraq and Afghanistan as a civil advisor. Devoting his entire life towards bettering the world, Kim works towards promoting public health and ending hunger issues in the world. The discussion then shifted towards a Q&A session directed towards students. Kim described the dangerous atmosphere of working in war zones and attributed his appreciation towards the US military. “The US military saved my life, and I owe them a debt I could never repay,” said Kim.
Regarding the topic of selecting a future career, Kim advised students to expose themselves to a variety of opportunities and take risks despite fears of failure. Rather than restricting oneself to limited career options, having an open mind is far superior as life can present surprises and unexpected interests in the future. Kim said, “You got to find what drives you. I think this is one of the fundamentally hardest parts of being a politician. If you end up doing it, make sure you do it because you know what you’re driving towards.” Kim elaborated on how this ideal guided him when asking for voters’ support as he needed to prove his ambition towards helping the public rather than focusing on boosting his own career. Through depicting his passions of providing for the public through working in the government, Kim successfully is serving his second term as a representative for New Jersey’s 3rd Congressional District.
Despite facing adversities on the daily and encountering setbacks, Kim depicted that this only pushed him to work harder and continue fighting for important causes. He hopes to continue doing service work and working towards bettering our world so that in the next century or so, his own children could live in an improved society. Small conflicts, such as partisan politics, would not get in his way. “For me, I just think about it like a puzzle in terms of how to build a coalition with other politicians,” Kim said. In modern-day politics, having contempt for other parties has become the new norm, which he believes is extremely damaging to the nation. He hopes for there to be more unity and alliance between politicians of all parties and backgrounds in the near future in order for the nation to make significant progress in terms of achieving goals.
Graduating from Cherry Hill East in 2000, Kim recognizes and appreciates the tremendous impact that this community has had in shaping his success and career path. Kim said, “Being back in the area has been remarkable. Raising my kids just a couple miles away made me realize why my parents chose to raise us here. East gave me a sense of leadership, independence, and made me choose some bold decisions.” Kim hopes to provide his children with the same loving and supportive community that he had as a high schooler and accredits East for encouraging him to pursue his passions. Through this Career club meeting, many students at East learned about the variety of options available throughout and after high school in order to pursue a career related to their interests. Kim proved that every single student had potential to live a life working towards what they are passionate about and can make a lasting impact on communities. For the Career Club, this meeting was beyond successful. “It was great watching our members interact with Andy Kim and our other speakers; they enjoyed learning what it takes to be a congressman and how they can potentially become a congressman through hard work. Kim is from Cherry Hill and attended East, so the meeting showed our members that they are not too far from reaching their goals,” said Amsili (‘22). Andy Kim continues to make positive impacts on our community, as he is a testament to the statement that hard work does pay off. While dedicating his life towards public service, he has portrayed to East students that pursuing one’s passion can go a long way.