Senior provides a helping hand around the world


Traveling to other countries and experiencing new ways of life gives one a perspective of how people in other areas live different lives than we do. Learning about other cultures and meeting new acquaintances can change one’s’ life, which is exactly what it did for senior Maile Kim. With an interest in traveling and exploring, Kim has traveled with her church to several other countries, where she provides a helping hand in underdeveloped communities. By doing so, Kim has gained a thoughtful mindset about the world around her, made new friends and learned more about herself and her future, which has impacted her life for the better.

For me the purpose in life isn’t just to find happiness for myself, but its to learn new things and to make connections with people, and to really build relationships.

— Maile Kim

“Last year during junior year, I went to Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan which are two countries in Central Asia that not many people know about,” Kim said. “I was the youngest person from my church to go, everyone else was in their twenties or older.”

Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan are are both areas with a lot of poverty, so Kim was in a complete different environment from what she was used to. She provided a helping hand, and became part of their community while she was visiting.

“I stayed in a small village and got to interact with the Kazakh people,” Kim said. “It’s an area with a lot of poverty and I went with my church, so we prayed for the people there, brought them food, and helped out at children’s programs.”

Through these journeys, Kim has made life changing connections and friendships which she is extremely grateful for. Although she loves the places she’s experienced, her favorite part of it all is meeting new people and bonding with them.

“My favorite memory would probably be a person I’ve met,” Kim said. “Her name is Somiya and she knew my sister from when my sister traveled to Central Asia,” Kim said. “When she saw me, she immediately recognized me and hugged me and said ‘Maile, I’ve heard so much about you and I’ve always wanted to meet you!’ which immediately made me feel so emotional, and feel so loved.”

Along with traveling to Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan, Kim recently traveled to Mexico over the summer of 2018, and is planning to visit Central Asia again this upcoming January. Kim also mentions that she hopes to move to Kyrgyzstan in the future, and become part of their community.

“Seeing people who live in such different areas, but are still so loving, and faithful and hardworking was really astonishing to see,” Kim explains. “It was reassuring to know that the world is still a good place.”

By traveling and experiencing other countries around the world, Kim has learned more about herself, and has gained perspective of people around her. She hopes to continue traveling after graduating high school, and hopes to meet new people and cultures along the way.

“For me the purpose in life isn’t just to find happiness for myself, but its to learn new things and to make connections with people, and to really build relationships,” Kim said.