The University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa Korean Language Flagship Center (KLFC) has announced that Jennifer Lee, Brianna Leisure and Kai Hong So have won Boren Scholarships to support their 2018–2019 KLFC Overseas Capstone Program at Korea University in Seoul.
Valued at $20,000 each, the scholarships are an initiative of the National Security Education Program that allows American undergraduate students to study less commonly taught languages in world regions critical to U.S. security.
Jennifer Lee is a former chemistry major who discovered her love for the Korean language. Lee spent the summer of 2017 studying abroad in Korea. That year, North Korea conducted 23 ballistic missile tests, which tremendously impacted Lee. She believes using her language skills for the nation’s security and protection is most important and would like to see more Americans with a high level command of Korean.
Brianna Leisure is a Korean Flagship major who values the opportunity of studying abroad with a goal of achieving native proficiency in Korean. Leisure aspires to work as a language analyst for the federal government.
Kai Hong So
Bilingual in English and Cantonese, Kai Hong So became passionate about the Korean language while participating in a study abroad program in Busan, South Korea. This experience inspired So to continue studies at the KLFC. In summer 2017, he studied abroad again at Korea University. After completing his bachelors, So plans to work using his language skills, while also pursuing a master’s degree in Korean Flagship.
Lee, Leisure and So will travel to Washington, DC to receive their awards in June. They join an auspicious list of previous KLFC Boren scholars from UH Mānoa: Danica Lim (2009), Bowha Kang (2010), Tyler Miyashiro (2013), Ryan Tanaka (2016) and Eloise Morris (2017).